This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.
It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.
Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.
Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.
We also ask that you:
+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.
+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.
+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.
+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.
About Google Book Search
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web
at |http : //books . google . com/
THE STORY OF THE WORLD.
By M. B. SYNGE.
L— ON THE SHORES OF THE GREAT SEA.
The Home of Abraham — Into Africa
— An old Trade-Route — Joseph in
Egypt— The Story of the Nile Flood
— In a Strange Land — The Children
of Israel — Back to the Fatherland —
The First Merchant Fleet — Con-
querors of the Sea — Early Pioneers
— Hiram, King of Tyre — King Solo-
mon's Fleet — The Story of Carthage
—Out of the Shadowland— The Story
of the Argonauts — The Siege of Troy
— The Adventures of Ulysses — The
Dawn of History— The Fall of Tyre
— The Rise of Carthage — Hanno's Ad-
ventures — Some more about Greece
—A Cloud in the East— The Battle
of Marathon — King Ahasuerus — How
Leonidas kept the Pass — Victory for
the Greeks — Some Greek Colonies—
Across the Blue Waters — The Beauty
of Athens — The Death of Socrates —
Retreat of the Ten Thousand— The
Story of Romulus and Remus — How
HoratiuB kept the Bridge — Coriolanus
— Alexander the Great — King of
Macedonia— Conquest of the East —
The Conquest of India — Alexander's
City — Back to Rome again — A Great
Conflict — The Roman Fleet — Han-
nibal's Vow — The Adventures of
Hannibal — The End of Carthage
— The Triumph of Rome — Two
Young Romans — Julius Caesar — The
Flight of Pompey — The Death of
CaBsar — The Empire of Rome — Pax
n.— THE DISCOVERY OF NEW WORLDS.
The Roman World— A Great World
Power — Voyage and Shipwreck — The
Tragedy of Nero — The Great Fire in
Rome — The Destruction of Pompeii
— Marcus Aurelius — Decline of the
Roman Empire — Christians to the
Lions — A New Rome — The Armies
of the North— The Dark Ages— King
Arthur and his Knights — The Hero
of Two Nations— The Hardy North-
men—How the Northmen conquered
England — A Spanish Hero — The First
Crusade — Frederick Barbarossa — The
Third Crusade — The Days of Chivalry
— Queen of the Adriatic — The Story
of Marco Polo — Dante's Great Poem
—The Maid of Orleans— The Sea of
Darkness — Prince Henry, the Sailor
— A Famous Voyage — The Invention
of Printing —r The Stormy Cape —
Vasco da Gama's Great Voyage —
India at last — The New Trade-Rioute
— Golden Goa — Christopher Colum-
bus — The Last of the Moors — Dis-
covery of the New World — The West
Indies — Columbus in Chains — A
Great Mistake — Follow the Leader —
Discovery of the Pacific — Magellan's
Great Plan — Magellan's Straits —
Round the World— The Finding of
Mexico — Montezuma — Siege and Fall
of Mexico — Conquest of Peru — A
III.— THE AWAKENING OF EUROPE.
Story of the Netherlands — Brave
Little Holland — A Wealth of Her-
rings — A Dutch Reformer — The
Story of Martin Luther — The Diet
of Worms — An Historic Scene — How
the Trouble began — The Storm
bursts — Beggars of the Sea — The
Massacre of St Bartholomew — The
Siege of Leyden — William the Silent
— England — Elizabeth's Sailors —
Drake's Voyage round the World —
The Great Armada — Among the Ice-
bergs—Sir Humphrey Gilbert — ^Vir-
ginia — Story of the Revenge — Sir
Walter Raleigh — The Fairy Queen —
A Great Dramatist — The Golden Days
of Good Queen Bess — First Voyage of
the East India Company — The Story
of Henry Hudson — Captain John
Smith — The Founding of Quebec —
The Pilgrim Father8--Thirty Years
of War — The Dutch at Sea — The
Great South Land — Van Riebeek's
Colony — In the Days of Oliver Crom-
well — Two Famous Admirals — De
Ruy ter — The Founder of Pennsylvania
— The * Pilgrim's Progress ' -— The
House of Orange — William's Invita-
tion — The Struggle in Ireland — The
Siege of Vienna by the Turks — The
Greatness of France — The Story of
the Huguenots — The Greatest Gen-
eral of his Age— The Battle of Blen-
heim — How Peter the Great learned
Shipbuilding — Charles XII. of Sweden
— ^The Boyhood of Frederick the Great
— Anson's Voyage round the World —
Maria Theresa — The Story of Scotland.
IV.— THE STRUGGLE FOR SEA POWER.
Thb Story of the Great Mogul —
Robert Clive — The Black Hole of
Calcutta — The Struggle for North
America — George Washington, Soldier
and Patriot — How Pitt saved Eng-
land—The Fall of Quebec — "The
Great Lord Hawke"— The Boston
Tea- Ships — The Declaration of Inde-
pendence — Captain Cook's Story —
James Bruce and the Nile — The
Trial of Warren Hastings — Marie
Antoinette— The Fall of the Bastile
— The Flight of Varennes— A Reign
of Terror — Napoleon Bonaparte —
Horatio Nelson — The Adventures of
Mungo Park — The Travels of Baron
Humboldt — The Beginning of the
Struggle— The Battle of the Nile-
Copenhagen — ^Napoleon, Emperor of
the French— The Battle of Trafalgar
— The Death of Nelson — A Second
Charlemagne — The Rise of Welling-
ton — At the Cape of Good Hope —
The First Australian Colony — Story
of the Slave Trade— The Defence of
Saratoga — Sir John Moore at Corunna
— The Victory of Talavera — The
Peasant Hero of the Tyrol— The Em-
pire at its Height — The " Shannon "
and the "Chesapeake" — Napoleon's
Retreat from Moscow — Wellington's
Victories in Spain — Spain for the
Spaniards— The Fall of the Empire-
Story of the Steam-Engine — The Con-
gress of Vienna — The Eve of Waterloo
—Waterloo— The ExQe of St Helena.
V. -GROWTH OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
How Spain lost South America —
Heroes of Independence — War in
Greece — ^Victoria, Queen of England
—The Story of Canada— The Fur
Traders' Land — A Famous Arctic Ex-
pedition — The Winning of the West
—The Great Boer Trek— The Story
of Natal — Livingstone in Central
Africa — ^The Dream of Cecil Rhodes
— Discoveries in Australia — The Last
King of France — Louis Kossuth in
Hungary — The Crimean War — The
Indian Mutiny — The Awakening of
Italy — Eling of United Italy — Civil
War in America — The Land of the
Rising Sun — Japan, Britain's Ally —
China's Long Sleep — Russia and the
Trans-Siberian Line — Founding the
German Empire — The Franco-
German War — The Mexican Revolu-
tion — President Garfield — Expedi-
tion to Magdala — The Gold Coast —
Stanley's Discoveries — The Dutch
Republics — The Founding of Rhodesia
— Gordon and Khartum — Winning
the Sudan — The Cape to Cairo —
Where three Empires meet — An-
nexation of Burma — Lesser Posses-
sions — India and the Delhi Durbar —
Dominion of Canada — The Australian
Commonwealth — British South Africa
— Death of Queen Victoria — Welding
the Empire — Good Citizenship —
Digitized by VjOOQIC
THE STORY OF THE WORLD
THE CHILDREN OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
THE STRUGGLE FOR SEA POWER
FROM THE AMERICAN WAR TO WATERLOO
HE STRUGGLE FOR
M. B. SYNGE
AUTHOR OF 'brave MEN AND BRAVE DEEDS,'
'l.IFB OP GENERAL GORDON FOR BOYS,' ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY E. M. SYNGE, A.R.E.
WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
^ Digitized by Google
All Rights reserved
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR. LENOX AND
R 1904 L
1. THE STORT OF THE GREAT MOGUL
2. KOBBRT GLIVE ....
3. THE BLACK HOLE OP CALCUTTA .
4. THE STRUGGLE FOR NORTH AMERICA
5. GEORGE WASHINGTON, SOLDIER AND PATRIOT
6. HOW PITT SAVED ENGLAND .
7. THE FALL OF QUEBEC
8. *'THE GREAT LORD HAWKE "
9. THE BOSTON TEA-SHIPS
10. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
11. CAPTAIN cook's STORY
12. JAMES BRUCE AND THE NILE
13. THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS
14. MARIE ANTOINETTE
15. THE FALL OF THE BASTILE
16. THE FLIGHT TO VARENNES .
17. A REIGN OF TERROR .
18. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE
19. HORATIO NELSON
20. THE ADVENTURES OF MUNOO PARK
21. THE TRAVELS OF BARON HUMBOLDT
22. THE BEGINNING OF THE STRUGGLE
23. THE BATTLE OF THE NILE .
24. COPBNHAGBN ....
25. NAPOLEON, EMPEROR OP THE FRENCH
26. THE BATTLE OP TRAPALQAR
27. THE DEATH OP NELSON
28. A SECOND CHARLEMAGNE
29. THE RISE OP WELLINGTON .
30. AT THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE
31. THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN COLONY
32. STORY OP THE SLAVE-TRADE
33. THE DEFENCE OF SARAGOZA
34. SIR JOHN MOORE AT CORUNA
35. THE VICTORY OF TALAVBRA
36. THE PEASANT HERO OP THE TYROL
37. THE EMPIRE AT ITS HEIGHT
38. THE SHANNON AND THE CHESAPEAKE
39. napoleon's retreat from MOSCOW
40. Wellington's victories in spain
41. SPAIN for the SPANIARDS .
42. the pall of the empire .
43. story of the steam-engine
44. the congress op vienna .
45. THE EVE OP WATERLOO
47. the exile op st helena .
teacher's appendix .
THE STEUGGLE FOR SEA POWER.
1. THE STORY OP THE GREAT MOGUL.
" Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall
The wonderful story of England's conquest of India
reads, even to-day, like some fairy legend of the
It is the story of how one small island, away in
the Northern seas, conquered an empire ten times
its own size, at a distance of 6000 miles. In the
ages of long ago, when the Egyptians were building
their pyramids, when the Phoenicians were sailing
to the Pillars of Hercules, when the Greeks were
adorning Athens and the Romans were spreading
their empire far and wide, this England was still
sleeping on the waves of the boundless sea.
It was not till after the Roman Empire had
fallen, not till the Portuguese had found their way
^ across the Sea of Darkness to India, not till the
BK. IV. A
Digitized by VjOOQIC
2 Ej>^GLAND in INDIA. [I8TH CENT.
Spaniards had discovered the New World, that
England awoke to a sense of the great possibilities
that lay before her. Slowly and surely, from this
time onwards, she stretched forth her arms over
the broad seas that had once been her barriers,
until, by her untiring energy, she won for herself
an empire ''on which the sun never sets."
Her first great conquest was that of India or
Hindostan — the land of the Hindoos. It is a
country cut off from Asia by a lofty range of
mountains known as the Hima-laya, or snow abode.
Here are some of the highest peaks in the world,
never scaled by man. Here, too, rise the largest
rivers in India — the Indus and the Ganges, on
which most of the large towns are built. Most
of the country lies within the tropics. Hence it
is a land of wondrous starlight and moonlight, a
land of whirlwind and tempest, of pitiless sun and
scorching heat. Here to-day, as of old, are men
with dark faces and long beards, dressed in turbans
and flowing robes — men for the most part Mo-
hammedans, praying at intervals throughout the
day, with their faces toward Mecca.
At the time that Alexander the Great ^ entered
India,— r327 years before the birth of Christ, — the
land was parcelled out into a number of small
kingdoms, each under the government of its own
Raja. Each Raja had a council known as the
Durbar. When a Raja conquered other Rajas he
^ See Book I. chapter 40.
16TH CENT.] AKBAR — THE GREAT MOGUL. 3
was known as a Maha-raja or Great Raja, and
all these words are used in India to-day.
In the sixteenth century a race of Mongols or
Moguls swept into India from Central Asia and
founded an empire in the north. Marco Polo ^ had
heard a great deal about these Mongols when he
was at the court of the Great Khan. The first of
the Mogul emperors was called Baber, or the Tiger ;
but he was succeeded by a yet more famous grand-
son called Akbar, whose power is spoken of still
in India to-day. Akbar added to the Mogul
Empire until it became the most extensive and
splendid empire in the world. In no European
kingdom was so large a population subject to a
single ruler, or so large a revenue poured into the
treasury. The beauty and magnificence of the
buildings, the huge retinues and gorgeous decor-
ations, dazzled the eyes of those accustomed to
the pomps of Versailles.^
But under the Great Mogul Aurangzeb, the
*' Conqueror of the Universe," the empire reached
the height of its glory. He had usurped the
throne, put his father into prison, and murdered
his three brothers. His crown was uneasy, but
secure. At Delhi he held his magnificent court.
Here was the palace of the Great Mogul, built on
the river Jumna, a tributary of the Ganges. The
magnificent gateway of the palace was guarded by
two huge elephants of stone, each bearing the
1 See Book II. chapter 23. ^ gg^ Bqq]^ jjj. chapter 44.
4 ' AURANGZEB, [.1618-1707.
colossal statue of a Raja warrior on his back. Here
too was the grand hall of audience, where the
Durbar was held. The ceiling was of white marble,
supported by thirty marble columns, bearing an
inscription in gold : " If there be a Paradise on
earth, it is this." The throne was in a recess at
the back of the hall, and over the throne was a
peacock made of gold and jewels, valued at a
One day Aurangzeb was sitting on his throne at
a Durbar at Delhi, when his old tutor appeared
before him. The Great Mogul had suddenly
stopped his pension, and he had come to know
the reason. Aurangzeb gave him the explanation
''This tutor," he cried, "taught me the Koran
(Mohammedan Bible) and wearied me with rules of
Arabic grammar, but he told me nothing at all of
foreign countries. I learnt nothing of the Ottoman
Empire in Africa. I was made to believe that
Holland was a great empire, and that England
was bigger than France."
When his birthday came round the Great Mogul
was weighed in state, and if he was found to weigh
more than on the preceding year there were great
public rejoicings. All the chief people in the
empire came to make their offerings : precious
stones, gold and silver, rich carpets, camels, horses,
and elephants were presented to him. He had
tents of red velvet embroidered in gold. He
The Great Mogul.
6 END OF THE MOGUL EMPIRE. [l707.
had seven splendid thrones, — one covered with
diamonds, one with rubies, one with pearls, one
with emeralds, though the Peacock Throne was
the most valuable. While the Great Mogul was
on his throne, fifteen horses stood ready on either
side, their bridles enriched with precious stones.
Elephants were trained to kneel down before the
throne and do reverence with their trunks. The
Emperor's favourite elephant was fed on good meat,
with plenty of sugar and brandy.
Aurangzeb himself was nearly one hundred years
old when he died. Suspicion lest his sons should
subject him to the fate which he had inflicted on
his own father left him a solitary old man. As
death approached terror and remorse seized him.
" Come what may,'' he cried desperately at the last,
" I have launched my vessel on the waves. Fare-
well ! farewell ! farewell ! "
So passed the last of the Great Mogulr^ who ruled
for over two hundred years in India. The empire
was soon after broken up, and the wa^"" left clear
for England to found her great Eastern Empire
beyond the seas.
1747.] EUROPEANS IN INDIA.
2. ROBERT OLIVE.
" Clive kissed me on the mouth and eyes and brow,
Wonderful kisses, so that I became
Crowned above Queens — a withered beldame now
Brooding on ancient fame."
During the forty years after the death of Aur-
angzeb a great change passed over India. The
great Mogul Empire was broken up ; enemies in-
vaded the land from north and south. They preyed
on the defenceless country, they marched through
the gates of Delhi and bore away in triumph the
Peacock Throne and all its priceless jewels.
From the time of Alexander the Great little
intercourse had been held between Europe and
the East. But from that May day in 1498, when
Vasco da Gama^ and his brave Portuguese sailors
stepped ashore at Calicut, • there was constant
communication with the ports on the western
coast. For some time Portugal had claimed ex-
clusive right to her Indian trade, but after a time
Dutch ships sailed to her eastern ports. The enter-
prise of Holland roused commercial enthusiasm in
England and France until these three nations had
established trading stations in the East.
The Dutch headquarters was at Batavia ; the
French at Pondicherry, on the east coast of India ;
^ See Book II. chapter 32.
8 DUPLEIX. [1697-1763.
the English at Madras, some eighty miles to the
north. The governor of Pondicherry was a French-
man called Dupleix. He was the first European
to see the possibility of founding an empire on the
ruins of the Great Mogul, though it was reserved
for the English to carry out his wonderful idea.
Neither the French nor the English traders knew
much about the government of India at this time.
They knew that they paid a yearly rent to the
native ruler or Nawab, who lived in Oriental
splendour at the city of Arcot, some sixty-five
miles west of Madras. This Nawab of Arcot was
in his turn under the Nizam of Hyderabad, and
both in the old days were under the Great Mogul.
Dupleix, fiiU of his dreams of empire, saw that
his first step must be to capture the English trad-
ing station of Madras. England and France were
at war, so he seized this opportunity of attacking
Madras, which was but poorly defended, and carried
oif the English in triumph to Pondicherry. Here
all was joy and gladness. Salutes were fired from
the batteries, Te Deums were sung in the churches.
The Nizam came to visit his new allies. Dupleix,
dressed in Mohammedan garments, entered Pondi-
cherry with him, and in the pageant that followed
took precedence of the native court. He was de-
clared Governor of India from Hyderabad to Cape
Comorin, a country the same size as France itself;
he was given command of seven thousand men ; he
ruled over thirty millions of people with absolute
1725-1774.] ROBERT CLIVE. 9
power, and the Nizam himself became but a tool
in his hands.
It was at this moment that the genius and valour
of a single young Englishman, Robert Clive,
changed the whole aspect of affairs, and won the
empire of India for England.
" Clive," said a Frenchman afterwards, " under-
stood and applied the system of Dupleix."
Robert Clive was the eldest of a large English
family. He was born in Shropshire in the year
1725. At a very early age he showed that he
had a strong will and a fiery passion, "flying out
on every trifling occasion." The story is still told
in the neighbourhood of how "Bob Clive," when
quite a little boy, climbed to the top of a lofty
steeple, and with what terror people saw him seated
on a stone spout near the top. He was sent from
school to school, but made little progress with his
learning. Instead, he gained the character of being
a very naughty little boy. True, one far-seeing
master prophesied that he would yet make "a great
figure in the world," but for the most part he was
held to be a dunce. Nothing was expected from
such a boy, and when he was eighteen his parents
sent him off to India, in the service of the East
India Company, to "make his fortune or die of
His voyage was unusually long and tedious, last-
ing over a year. At last he arrived at the port of
Madras — a barren spot beaten by a raging surf —
Digitized by VjOOQIC
10 olive's attack OS ARCOT. [l751.
to find himself very lonely and very poor in a
strange land. He found some miserably paid work
in an office, but he was shy and proud and made
no friends. Moreover, the hot climate made him ill.
" I have not enjoyed one happy day since I left
my native land," he cried piteously. Twice, in
desperation, the poor home-sick boy tried to shoot
himself, but twice he failed.
" Surely," he cried at the second failure — *' surely
I am reserved for something great."
So it happened that Robert Clive was at Madras
when the French came and carried away the English
captives to Pondicherry. Disguising themselves as
natives, in turbans and flowing robes, Clive and
some friends managed to escape to another English
trading station. There was no more office work
to be done at present, and Clive, together with
hundreds of other Englishmen, entered the army
to fight against the French. His bravery and
courage soon raised him above his fellows, and he
became a captain.
Clive was now twenty-five. He saw plainly that
unless some daring blow were aimed at the French
soon, Dupleix would carry all before him. He
suggested a sudden attack on Arcot, the residence
of the Nawab ; and though the scheme seemed wild
to the point of madness, he was given command of
200 Europeans and some native troops to march
against the town.
Arcot was sixty-five miles away. The fort was
1751.] ENGLISH AND FRENCH IN INDIA. 11
known to be garrisoned by 1100 men, but Clive
marched bravely forth. During the march a terrific
storm arose. The rain swept down in a deluge on
the little army, the lightning played around them,
the thunder pealed over their heads ; but they
pushed on through it all, undajunted in their des-
perate undertaking. Tidings of their fearless en-
durance reached the town before them. A panic
seized the native garrison : they abandoned the
fort. Not a shot was fired, and Clive with his
500 men entered the city in triumph. The young
boy-captain had already won a deathless renown.
3. THE BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA.
" Clive it was gave England India."
It was not likely that the spirited little army
should be left in undisputed possession of Arcot,
and Clive now prepared for an inevitable siege.
Soon 10,000 men had swarmed into the place,
hemming in the garrison on every side. Days
grew to weeks, and the ready resource of Clive
alone saved the situation. The handful of men —
European and native — caught the spirit of their
leader, and each became a hero. History contains
no more touching instance of native fidelity than
that related of the men who came to Clive, not
to complain of their own scanty fare, but to propose
12 FRENCH POWER CRUSHED. [l751.
" that all the grain should be given to Europeans,
who required more nourishment than the natives of
Asia. The thin gruel, strained away from the rice,
would do for them," they said. With such as these
Clive held the fort for fifty days.
At last the French resolved to storm the town.
Clive busied himself with preparations. In the
evening he threw himself down to sleep, utterly
tired out ; but he was soon awakened, and at his
post in a moment. The French attacked in strong
force. They had brought with them huge elephants,
with great pieces of iron fixed on their foreheads,
to try and break down the gates. The English
fired on them ; and the unhappy creatures, unused
to firearms, turned round and fled in their fright
into the midst of the French, trampling many
under foot. Night fell, and Clive, with his little
band of weary men, passed an anxious time.
Morning dawned to find the enemy had melted
away. The siege of Arcot was ended. The
growing power of the French in India was arrested.
Robert Clive was the hero of the hour.
Indeed, not long after this Dupleix was recalled
fi'om the East by Louis XV., his dream of empire
ended, to die in France heart-broken.
But India's troubles were by no means at an end.
English trade in the East was growing, and the
English had long ago established a trading station
at Calcutta on the river Hoogly, one of the mouths
of the Ganges. They had had no water-way at
1756.] THE BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA. 13
Madras ; but here, at Calcutta, they had been able
to penetrate inland and annex some of the sur-
rounding country, known as Bengal.
Now the Nawab of Bengal hjated the English.
His imagination was fired with fabulous stories
of the vast wealth stored up in the treasury at
Calcutta So he collected a huge army, and in
the year 1756 he appeared on the outskirts of the
town. The English were taken by surprise, — they
had no Clive to lead them to victory, — and the
Nawab took Calcutta with ease, making 146
prisoners. But the treasury did not yield the
vast riches he had been led to expect, and he
wreaked his revenge on the luckless prisoners.
It was a hot night in June when the 146
English captives were driven by clubs and swords
into a little room some twenty feet square, with
only two small gratings at the entrance to let in
air. The " Black Hole " had been built to shut up
troublesome soldiers : it was intended to hold four
or five at a time. To cram in 146 human beings
was to court slow but certain death. The day had
been fiercely hot, the night was sultry and stifling.
Not a breath of air could enter to relieve the suifer-
ings of the Europeans, too tightly packed into the
small space to move. In vain they cried for mercy ;
in vain they appealed to the guards in their agony.
The guards only replied from outside that the
Nawab was asleep, and none dared wake him or
remove a single prisoner without his leave. Then
Digitized by VjOOQIC
14 CALCUTTA RE-TAKEN. [l757.
followed cries for water. A few water-skins were
brought to the gratings, but in the mad struggle
to reach it many were trampled to death. The
heartless guards only held burning torches to the
gratings and mocked at their frantic struggles. As
the long night passed away the struggles ceased,
the screams died away, and a few low moans were
the only sounds audible. Morning dawned at last.
The Nawab awoke and ordered the doors to be
opened. Twenty - three fainting people alone
staggered forth : the rest lay dead in heaps upon
the floor. And even to-day, though nearly 150
years have passed away since that horrible crime,
the Black Hole of Calcutta cannot be mentioned
without a shudder.
The tale of horror thrilled through the British
Empire. All eyes turned to the young hero of
Arcot to avenge the wrongs done to his country-
men, and Robert Clive was soon hurrying to the
scene of action.
Early in January he arrived at Calcutta, and
soon the British flag was waving above the town.
Meanwhile the Nawab was waiting for him at
Plassey, some ninety -six miles to the north of
Calcutta, with a tremendous army, at least twenty
times the size of Clive's. Clive was marching-
north, hoping for help to be sent, but he reached
the banks of the Hoogly with a force wholly in-
adequate for the work before him. He was in a
painfully anxious dilemma. Before him lay a wide
1757.] BATTLE OF PLASSEY. 15
river, across which, if things went ill, not one
would ever return. For the first time in his life
he shrank from the fearful responsibility of making
up his ,mind. He was but thirty-two at the time.
He called a council of war. Should they attack
the mighty force before them with their little band
of men, or wait for help ?
'* Wait for help," said the ofiicers ; and Clive
himself agreed with them.
But still he was not satisfied. He retired alone
under the shade of a tree near by, and spent an
hour in the deepest thought. Then he returned to
the camp. He knew his mind now : he was deter-
mined to risk everything. ''Be in readiness to
attack to-morrow," he cried.
The river was soon crossed, and Clive with his
army took up his quarters in a grove of mango-
trees, within a mile of the enemy. He could not
sleep. All night long he heard the sound of drums
and cymbals from the vast camp of the Nawab.
He knew but too well the fearful odds against
which he would fight on the morrow.
The day broke — "the day which was to decide
the fate of India."
An hour after the battle began, all was over.
The Nawab had mounted a camel and was in full
flight, and the great native army was retreating
in wild disorder. Clive stood triumphant on the
battlefield of Plassey. With a loss of twenty-
two men he had scattered an army of nearly
16 ENGLISH AND FRENCH IN AMERICA. [iSTH CENT»
60,000, and subdued an empire larger than Great
Britain. The " heaven-born general " was conqueror
not only of the battlefield of Plassey, but of the
British Empire in India.
4. THE STRUGGLE FOR NORTH AMERICA.
" Few, few were they whose swords of old
Won the fair land in which we dwell,
But we are many, we who hold
The grim resolve to guard it well."
" It was the volley fired by a young Virginian
in the backwoods of America that set the world
So said the great English minister Horace
Walpole. Let us see why that volley was fired.
While the English and French were fighting for
the mastery of India away in the East, a great
struggle was going on between the same two
peoples — New England and New France — for the
mastery of North America in the Far West. Clive
had fought till the English flag waved over the
cities of Madras and Calcutta. Now Wolfe was
to fight in America till the English flag waved
from the capitals of Quebec and Montreal.
At present the lilies of France floated over these
towns. They had floated there since the early days
when the first Frenchman — Jacques Cartier^ —
1 See Book III. chapter 29.
18TH CENT.] THE FRENCH IN CANADA. 17
broke the solitude of this distant wilderness.
Canada was the seat of French power in North
America. French Canadian life centred round
Quebec and Montreal, on the banks of the river St
Lawrence. Here, in the castle of St Louis, upon
the famous rock of Quebec, sat the all-powerful
governor of Louis XV., King of France. A new
governor had recently been sent out— a man who
viewed his country's prospects in America with the
keenest anxiety. He knew full well the rivalry that
existed between France and England in that land
of the Far West. The English had already viewed
with distrust the long arms stretched out by France
over the fur-bearing regions around Hudson's Bay.
But it was in the south that the coming storm
was now brewing ; it was to the south that the
French governor was looking with those dreams of
empire that inspired Dupleix to conquer Southern
From the Canadian lakes southwards stretched
a dense "ocean of foliage," broken only by the
white gleam of the broad rivers Ohio and Missis-
sippi. The beautiful valleys formed by these large
rivers reached to the French settlement of New
Orleans, on the Gulf of Mexico. At distant in-
tervals, faint wreaths of smoke marked an Indian
village : otherwise all was solitude. The country
was unclaimed, for the most part, by either French
Now these two rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi,
BK. IV. B
18 THIRTEEN ENGLISH COLONIES. [l749.
practically cut North America in two. A cork
dropped into the small stream that rises near Lake
Erie, not far from the Falls of Niagara, would flow
out through the mouth of the Mississippi at New
Orleans into the Gulf of Mexico.
On the sea side of these rivers lay the thirteen
English colonies, fronting the broad Atlantic Ocean.
These colonies were under no one local governor :
each was independent, the only tie holding them
together being their allegiance to the mother
country. Each colony had started life on its own
account. There were the colonies founded by the
Pilgrim Fathers,^ by the Puritans, by the Quakers.
There were colonies of English, Irish, and Scotch,
and each colony had its own governor. Thus the
English possessions at this time consisted of a
long straggling line of little quarrelling Common-
wealths, resting along the sea -coast between the
Atlantic and the Ohio river and Alleghany moun-
tains. Both France and England now claimed the
Ohio valley, and there was little doubt that some
day their respective claims must be settled by the
sword. No treaty could touch such debatable
ground ; no one could adjust the undefined boundary
in this far-distant land.
One day, in the summer of 1749, the French
governor started a small expedition to explore the
country about the river Ohio. It was the first of
many such. Slowly but steadily the French pushed
* See Book III. chapter 30.
1764.] THE FRENCH ADVANCE. 19
farther and farther down the valley of the Ohio.
They built fort after fort, until suddenly the
governor of the English colony of Virginia became
aware of what was happening.
He selected a young Virginian, George Washing-
ton, to go and protest against such encroachment.
He was to march to the last new French fort, with
a note from his English governor, expressing a
hope that the French would at once retire from
British territory, and so maintain the harmony at
present existing between the two countries.
It was late autumn ; but George Washington
pushed manfully through the dripping forests with
his little band of men, till he reached the fort.
He delivered his message, and started home with
the first formal note of defiance from France to
England. After a three months' absence and
numerous hairbreadth escapes, young Washington
rode into Virginia with his ominous message from
There was danger ahead. The French were
pushing their dreams of empire too far. The
Governor of Virginia exerted himself more vigor-
ously. He too would build forts on the Ohio. In
the early spring of 1754, a little band of Virginians
was sent to build a fort in a spot where two large
streams meet to form the river Ohio, a spot to
become famous later as the site of the city of
Pittsburg. But the French were there already,
and they soon tumbled the forty Virginians back
20 GEORGE WASHINGTON. [1732-1799.
again into their English settlements. Washington
was now sent with 150 men to the French fort
on the Ohio. He was marching on through the
pathless wilderness, when news reached him that
the French were advancing to clear the English
out of the country.
Taking forty men, Washington groped his way
through a pitch-dark soaking night to the quarters
of a friendly Indian chief. The news he found was
but too true. There was not a moment to be lost.
At daybreak he stole forth and found the French
lying in a ravine. He gave orders to fire. A
volley was given by his men and returned by the
French. Their commander was slain, and the
French were all taken prisoners.
And so the war began.
''It was," as Horace Walpole had said — "It
was the volley fired by a young Virginian in the
backwoods of America that set the world on fire."
6. GEORGE WASHINGTON, SOLDIER
"Washington— the perfect citizen."— Emeeson.
The "young Virginian" spoken of by Horace
Walpole was destined to do great things for
England in America. The stories of his boyhood
shado^y forth his wonderful career.
George Washington was born on February 22,
1740.] STORY OF WASHINGTON. 21
1732, in a little farmhouse on the Potomac river
in Virginia. His great-grandfather had sailed over
to America in the days of Oliver Cromwell, and
his father was now a successful landowner. The
eldest son, Lawrence, was sent to England to be
educated, but George was taught by the village
sexton at home. He led a free open-air life,
playing in the meadows, and grew up to be a
manly and truthful boy.
One day his father gave him a hatchet, and the
little boy had carelessly tried its edge on the bark
of a young English cherry-tree which was much
valued by his father. The bark was injured, and
Mr Washington was seriously displeased, and began
to question the servants as to who could have done
such a thing.
" I did it, father," suddenly said George, looking
him straight in the face and holding out the
hatchet, which he knew he must forfeit; "I did
it with my new hatchet."
" Come to my arms, brave boy," said his father,
drawing George to him ; " I would rather every tree
I possess were killed, than that you should deceive
When he was about eight years old the big
brother Lawrence returned from England, and soon
a very strong friendship had sprung up between
the two brothers. Not long after his return to
Virginia he volunteered for service in the West
Indies, and George saw him depart, in his soldier's
22 Washington's bules. [1742.
uniform, to the martial sound of drum and fife,
with a heavy heart. But a martial spirit had been
aroused in the boy, and from this time forward his
favourite occupation was playing at soldiers. A
stick or broom -handle served for gun or sword,
the meadow by the river was the battlefield, and
George Washington was always the commander-in-
chief He was a good-looking boy, tall and straight,
athletic and muscular. He bore a high character
at home and also at school.
" George has the best writing-book in the school,"
his master used to say.
After his death, among hia papers was found an
old copy-book — which must have been written
about this time — in a quaint schoolboy handwriting.
It was called "Rules for Behaviour in Company
and Conversation," and there were no less than
one hundred of these rules carefully copied out.
Here are a few of them : —
" Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust."
" Undertake not what you cannot perform, but
be careful to keep your promise."
" Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of
another, though he were your enemy."
"Make no show of taking delight in your
victuals ; feed not with greediness, lean not
on the table, neither find fault with what
" Labour to keep alive in your breast that little
spark of celestial fire called Conscience."
1761.] THE YOUNG VIRGINIAN. 23
After his father's death in 1743, George went
to live with his beloved brother Lawrence, who was
now married and living at Mount Vernon in
Virginia. Here he rode and hunted, helped to
survey the surrounding country, and heard much
talk of the disputed boundary between the French
and English possessions in North America. War
was in the air.
Virginia was now divided into military districts.
At the age of nineteen George Washington found
himself in command of one of these. So capable
a soldier did he become, that, two years later, he
was the '* young Virginian" selected by the
Governor of Virginia to carry his message a
thousand miles across country to the French. The
story of how he delivered that message, and its
answer, has already been told.
From this time, George Washington was a
marked man and a public character. His name
was known in the Court at Paris as well as in
London, and it was to him the Virginians now
looked to help them in their troubles. They did
not look in vain : Washington was one of the
greatest men America ever produced. His great-
ness did not consist so much in his intellect, in his
skill, or in his genius, but in his honour, his utter
truthfulness, his high sense of duty. He left
behind him, when he died, one of the greatest
treasures of his country, the example of a stainless
life — of a great, honest, pure and noble character —
24 WAR DECLARED IN AMERICA. [l766.
a model for his nation to form themselves by in
all time to come.
" No nobler figure ever stood in the forefront of
a nation's life." He was, as Emerson, the great
American thinker, had said, a " perfect citizen."
He was, as a fellow -citizen said after his death
in 1799, "The man first in war, first in peace, and
first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens."
6. HOW PITT SAVED ENGLAND.
* If England to itself do rest but true." '
When war was formally declared between France
and England in 1756, it seemed as if the dreams
of a French empire in America might indeed be
realised. Louis XV. of France had sent the
Marquis de Montcalm to press the boundary claims
of Canada, and soon a long chain of forts threatened
to cut off the English coast colonies from any possi-
bility of extending their lands in any direction.
The colonies themselves were hopelessly divided,
and, so far, England had not awakened to a sense
of her great responsibilities with regard to her
empire beyond the seas.
Besides this, there were constant alarms of a
French invasion on her own shores. An English
fleet had just retreated before the French ; Minorca,
1708-1778.] WILLIAM PITT. 25
the key to the Mediterranean, had fallen into the
hands of France ; while Dupleix ^ was apparently
founding a Fi-ench empire, in India.
A despair without parallel in history took hold
of English statesmen.
" We are no longer a nation," cried one English
He did not know that England was on the eve
of her greatest triumphs in America as well as in
India. It was this dark hour that called forth the
genius of William Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham,
one of the greatest statesmen England ever had.
He was the son of a wealthy governor of Madras.
He had sat in Parliament for twenty-two years
before his chance came.
" In England's darkest hour, William Pitt saved
" I want to call England out of that enervate
state in which twenty thousand men from France
can shake her," he said as he took office. He soon
" breathed his own lofty spirit into the country he
served. He loved England with an intense and
personal love. He believed in her power, her glory,
her public virtue, till England learnt to believe in
herself. Her triumphs were his triumphs, her
defeats his defeats. Her dangers lifted him high
above all thought of self or party spirit."
" Be one people : forget everything but the
public. I set you the example," he cried with a
^ See Book IV. chapter 2.
26 Pitt's patriotism. [i768.
glow of patriotism that spread like infection
through the country.
"His noble figure, his flashing eye, his majestic
voice, the fire and grandeur of his eloquence, gave
him a sway over the House of Commons far greater
than any other Minister possessed."
" I know that I can save the country, and I
know no other man can," he had said confidently.
This was the man who now turned his eyes west-
wards and won for his country Canada,^ which
is hers to-day. He saw that if the English
colonies in America were to be saved from the
French, the mother country must save them. He
appealed to the very heart of England, and by
his earnestness and eloquence he changed his
despairing country into a state of enthusiasm and
ardour. He now made plans for the American
campaign of 1758. A blow should be struck at the
French in America, at three separate points. The
French forts of Duquesne and Ticonderoga were to
be captured, while the great French naval station
Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island, beyond Nova
Scotia, was to be taken. It commanded the mouth
of the river St Lawrence, and no English ships
could reach the capital, Quebec.
The genius of Pitt showed itself in his choice of
the man selected for this difficult piece of work.
James Wolfe, the future hero of Quebec, had
fought at the battle of Dettingen when only six-
^ See Book V. chapter 6.
1727-1769.] JAMES WOLFE. 27
teen, and distinguished himself at CuUoden Moor.
He was now given supreme command of the ex-
pedition to the famous fortress of Louisburg, the
key to Canada, which he was to conquer triumph-
All England now thrilled with the coming
struggle in America. The merchant at his desk,
the captain on the deck of his ship, the colonel at
the head of his regiment, — all felt the magic in-
fluence of William Pitt. All eyes were strained
towards the backwoods of the wild West, where the
drama was to be played out.
Fort Duquesne was taken from the French, and
to-day, on the same site, stands the city named
after Pitt, — Pittsburg, one of the largest towns in
So Pitt had roused England to a sense of her
danger and her responsibility, and helped her to
rise to a greatness far surpassing the dreams of
either Elizabeth or Cromwell.
7. THE PALL OP QUEBEC.
" They have fallen
Each in his field of glory. Wolfe upon the lap
Of smiling victory, that moment won.'*
Wolfe left England late in February 1759, but
the winds being contrary and the seas running
28 XABQCIB BE MOSTCAUf. [in3-1759.
high, 3Iay had opened hef<Mie the wild coast of
Nova Scotia was dimly seen through whirling mists
of fog. The Lonishorg harbour was stOl choked
with ice, and it was not till June that the advanced
squadron of the fleet ooold begin the passage of the
8t Lawrenca Wolfe had never seoi Qoebec, the
city he was sent out to capture ; but he knew that
Montcalm, the French general^ had four times as
many troops as he had, and he spared no pains to
make his own troops as efficient as possible.
^^ If valour can make amends for want of numbers,
we shall succeed,'' he wrote to Pitt at home. En-
thusiasm soon spread through the troops. ** British
colours on every French fort, post, and garrison
in America,'' they cried, as they sailed cautiously
along the lower reaches of the St Lawrence river
towards their goal It seemed incredible to the
French in Canada that an English fleet should
navigate its way through the difficult channels of
the river St Lawrence; and they received the
news that the English had landed on the shores
of the Isle of Orleans with surprise and dismay.
** Canada will be the grave of the British army,"
they said confidently; "and the walls of Quebec
will be decorated with British heads."
It was June 26 when the fleet anchored at the
Isle of Orleans, and beheld for the first time the
rock city of Quebec.^ The bravest British heart
might well have quailed at the sight. High up
* See Book III. chapter 29.
1769.] THE ENGLISH BEFORE QUEBEC, 29
against the western sky it stood, perched on its
rocky throne. The rugged outline of batteries,
bristling with cannon, seemed to frown defiance at
the mere handful of Englishmen, now looking
across the waters at it for the first time.
" I will be master of Quebec if I stay here till
the end of November," Wolfe had said.
The task before him seemed wellnigh hopeless,
yet his gallant heart never despaired. He would
perform this last service if it were possible. He
seized Point Levi, exactly opposite the city of
Quebec. This gave him complete command of the
river mouth. From here, too, his troops could fire
across on to the city, and he might destroy it if
he failed to capture it.
Meantime Montcalm kept rigidly within the
walls of Quebec. He knew that a hard Canadian
winter, with its frost and snow, must compel Wolfe
So July came and went. Daring feats were
performed on both sides, but Quebec remained
uncaptured by the British forces. One day the
French chained some seventy ships together, filled
them with explosives, and set the whole on fire.
Down the river, towards the English fleet, came
this roaring mass of fire, until the courageous
British sailors dashed down upon it and broke it
August arrived, with storms and cold. Fever
took hold of Wolfe* Always frail in body, he lay
30 PREPARING FOR THE ATTACK. [l759.
for a time between life and death, his "pale face
haggard with lines of pain and anxiety." But he
struggled back to life, and planned his great attack
In one of his many expeditions he had discovered
a tiny cove, now called Wolfe's Cove, five miles
beyond Quebec. Here was a zigzag goat-path up
the steep face of the towering cliff, which was over
250 feet high at this point. Wolfe had made up
his mind. Up this mere track, in the blackness of
the night, he resolved to lead his army to the
attack on Quebec. He kept his plans to himself
The night arrived : it was September 12.
" Officers and men will remember what their
country expects of them," he cried, as he gave his
troops the final orders.
It was one of the most daring exploits in the
At two o'clock at night the signal to start
was given. From the Isle of Orleans, from Point
Levi, the English boats stole out in the silence
and darkness of the summer night. Wolfe him-
self was leading. As the boats rowed silently
through the darkness on this desperate adventure,
Wolfe repeated some lines recently written by
the poet Gray, —
" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power.
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
1759.] ON THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. 31
^* Gentlemen/' he said to the officers with him in
the boat, *' I would rather have written that poem
than take Quebec."
Suddenly the voice of a sentry at the top of the
cliff challenged them.
'' Who goes there ? "
"The French," sang out a Highlander who had
served in the foreign wars and picked up a little
" From which regiment ? " asked the suspicious
"From the Queen's," answered the ready High-
lander in French.
A convoy of provisions was expected, and the
sentry let them pass. But it was a narrow escape
for the British fleet stealing stealthily along under
the enemy's lines. At last the cove was reached in
safety. The soldiers began to climb in single file
up the face of the steep cliff. Wolfe was among
the first, weakened though he was with fever and
anxiety. It was an anxious time. Like a chain
of ants the men crawled up the steep cliff in the
darkness, until, with the first streak of dawn
piercing the darkness, Wolfe and his troops stood
triumphantly at the top. When morning broke
Montcalm was greeted with the news that the
British commander, whom he had kept at bay for
months, now stood with an army of 4500 men in
line of battle on the plains of Abraham, overlooking
Quebec. Never a word of dismay uttered th6
32 DEATH OP WOLFE. [l769.
French general as he mustered his troops to
defend their city against the English.
He had some 10,000 men. By liine o'clock all
was ready. The battle began* In fifteen minutes
it was all over. The French opened fire on the
English lines at a distance of 200 yards. The
English had been told by Wolfe to reserve their
fire, and the men now stood with shouldered arms,
as if on parade. Silent and motionless they stood
amid the rain of French bullets and the din of
French cheers. Then came the order to fire.
Since the invention of gunpowder never had such
a tremendous volley been delivered. The sudden
explosion of 4000 muskets sounded like the blast
of a single cannon-shot. As the smoke lifted, the
French could be seen lying dead in heaps. Then
Wolfe sprang forward, at the head of his men,
sword in hand, and the whole line advanced. At
that moment the sun burst forth, lighting up the
gleaming bayonets and flashing swords. Another
moment and Wplfe fell, hit by two bullets. ,
"Don't let my gallant soldiers see me fall," he
gasped to the few men who rushed to help him.
They carried him in their arms to the rear,
and laid him on the ground. They mentioned
"It is needless," he whispered; "it is all over
The little sorrowing group stood silently round
the dying man. Suddenly one spoke.
1769.] CANADA IN ENGLISH HANDS. 33
** They run ! See how they run ! "
"Who run?" murmured Wolfe, awaking as if
'' The enemy, sir," was the answer.
A flash of life returned to Wolfe. He gave his
last military order. Then turning on his side, he
whispered, " God be praised, I now die in peace."
That night, within the ruined city of Quebec, lay
Montcalm mortally wounded.
** How long have I to live ? " he asked painfully.
" Twelve hours possibly," they answered him.
"So much the better," murmured the defeated
and dying man; "I shall not live to see the
surrender of Quebec."
So the two leaders died, — one at the moment of
victory, the other in the hour of defeat. If France
was grieved at Montcalm's failure, all England was
intoxicated with joy at Wolfe's magnificent victory.
The country flamed into illuminations, for the Eng-
lish colonies in America were saved. French power
in the Far West was crushed as it had been in the
East, and "the whole nation rose up and felt itself
the stronger for Wolfe's victory."
Digitized by VjOOQIC
34 A NAVAL HERO. [l769.
8. "THE GREAT LORD HAWKE/'
" When the battle rages loud and long,
And the stormy winds do blow."
The French had been beaten by the English in the
East and in the West by land. Now they were
to be beaten again by the English, this time by sea,
and off their own coast. France was threatening
an invasion of England, when Sir Edward Hawke
was given command of an English fleet, with orders
to blockade the French fleet and destroy the ships
How, through wild storms and tempests, the
English sailor kept his dogged watch, and how,
finally, he destroyed the fleet with " heroic daring,"
and by so doing saved his country, is one of the
most thrilling stories in. history.
Born in the year 1705, Hawke had been at sea
ever since he was a small boy.
" Would you like to be a sailor, Ned ? " he had
" Certainly, sir," the boy had answered quickly-
" Are you willing to go now, or to wait till you
are bigger ? ''
" This instant, sir," replied the little hero.
His mother grieved bitterly over his departure
"Good-bye, Ned," she said, with difl&culty con-
1769.] ENGLISH AND FRENCH AT SEA. 35
trolling herself. '' I shall expect you soon to be
" A captain," replied the boy with derision ;
" Madam, I hope you will soon see me an
He rose quickly in the service. More than once
he distinguished himself in sea-fights. He had
more than fulfilled the traditions of the British
navy, lately disgraced by the behaviour of the
British Admiral Byng, who for the loss of Minorca
had been tried and shot on the deck of his own
Pitt had chosen Wolfe to carry out his plans at
'Quebec ; he now chose Hawke to sail against the
French, and so frustrate the threatened invasion of
It was in the middle of May 1759 that Hawke
hoisted his flag and sailed from Torbay, to fulfil his
<iifficult task. The French fleet, under Conflans,
the ablest of French commanders, was lying snugly
in the well-sheltered harbour of Brest, while more
ships lay to the south at the mouth of the Loire.
Hawke was to block all the ships in the harbour of
Brest, and prevent their joining the others. He
^sailed over to the French coast, and there for six
months he doggedly blockaded the French fleet.
But it was a stormier sea. on than usual. His
•officers and men died of disease, the bottoms of
the ships grew foul, the vessels were battered by
.autumn gales and knocked about by the high
86 HAWKE AND CONFLANS. [l769.
rolling seas from the Bay of Biscay. Still the
British sailor stuck to his post. Autumn drew
on. Again and again the wild north-west gales
drove him from his blockading ground at the mouth
of the harbour of Brest ; again and yet again he
fought his way back.
On November 6, a tremendous gale swept over
the English fleet. For three days Hawke stood
his ground, but he was forced to run back to the
shores of England for shelter. Two days later he
put to sea again, but the wind was blowing as
furiously as ever, and he was again obliged to put
back to Torbay. His own ship was rotten and
water-logged, so he shifted his flag to the Boyal
George and struggled out again into the storm.
He was just too late. The French fleet had
escaped, and the ships were even now running gaily
with the wind behind them down the west coast of
France to join the rest of the fleet. Conflans'
daring plan might have succeeded had he not had
against him a man whose genius, patience, and
resolution were proof against the wildest waves
and the . fiercest winds. In the teeth of the gale
Hawke fought his way across the channel to France
to find the harbour empty, his prey gone. On ran
the French ships before the gale. Very soon the
white sails of the English might have been seen
hurrying after them. With the waves breaking
over their decks, weighed down by the weight of
sail, battered by the wild wind that whistled
1759.] A DAKING DEED. 37
through their rigging, the English ships ran on,
every hour bringing them nearer and nearer to
"I will attack them in the old way," cried
Hawke, "and make downright work of them."
As night drew on, the wind blew harder than
ever. Conflans now devised a bold plan. He ran
his ships coastwards, among islands and shoals of
which he knew the English to be ignorant. It was
a wild stretch of dangerous coast, on which the
huge Atlantic waves broke with a roar as of
thunder, tossing their white foam high into the
air. The wind blew with ever-increasing fury, and
the night was black as pitch. Only the genius of
a Hawke could save the fleet in such a night. But
to the successor of Drake ^ and Hawkins ^ all things
were possible. " Where there is a passage for the
enemy, there is a passage for me. Where a French-
man can sail, an Englishman can follow," cried
Hawke. "Their pilot shall be our pilot. If they
go to pieces on the shoals, they will serve as
beacons for us. Their perils shall be our perils."
" And so, on the wild November afternoon, with
the great billows that the Bay of Biscay hurls on
that stretch of iron-bound coast, Hawke flung him-
self into the boiling cauldron of rocks and shoals
and quicksands. No more daring deed was ever
done at sea."
The battle began, and the roar of the guns an-
^ See Book III. chapter 15.
38 VICTORY OP QUIBERON. [l759.
swered the din of the tempest. The wildly rolling'
fleets were soon hopelessly mixed up together.
Ship after ship went down with its guns and its
crews, but the flagship with Hawke on board was
making for the white pennant which flew from the
mast of Conflans' ship. Soon the two great ships
had begun their fierce duel. Night fell before the
battle was ended, — a wild night filled with the
shrieking of the gale, and morning broke no less
wild and stormy. Seven French ships had run
for shelter to the coast, two had gone to pieces
on the rocks. But in the very centre of the
English fleet lay the flagship of Conflans, battered
and helpless. In the darkness and confusion of
the night the French commander had mistaken his
friends for his foes, and anchored unconsciously in
the middle of the English fleet.
As the misty grey dawn showed him his mis-
take, Conflans cut his cables and made for the
shore. The battle of Quiberon was over. The
French ships were too much damaged to put to
sea any more, and Hawke was free to sail home
to receive the honours that a joyous England was
ready to bestow upon the faithful and brave
Admiral who had saved her from a French
1762.] ENGLAND AND AMERICA. 39
9. THE BOSTON TBA-SHIPS.
*' Oh thou, that sendest out the man
To rule by land or sea,
Strong mother of a Lion-line,
Be proud of these strong sons of thine
Who wrenched their rights from thee/'
The year 1759 was a year of victory for England.
By the triumph at Plassey Clive had founded the
Indian Empire. '* With the victory of Wolfe on
the Heights of Abraham began the history of the
United States ; '' while Hawke's defeat of the French
ships at Quiberon showed the growing strength of
the English on the seas.
"We are forced to ask every morning what
victory there is," laughed an English statesman,
" for fear of missing one."
The year 1762 found peace between England and
France, but an unsatisfactory state of things arising
beyond the seas in America.
It had cost England very large sums of money to
save her colonies from the French. She now de-
manded those colonies, growing yearly in wealth
and prosperity, to help to pay for the war. The
colonies were quite willing to do this : they would
pay a voluntary sum, but not a sum extracted by
means of taxation. England did not understand
the spirit of her colonies at this time, and she
40 THE STAMP ACT. [l765.
passed the famous Stamp Act, charging certain
stamp-duties in the colonies.
The news that the Stamp Act had actually been
passed in England was received in America by a
storm of indignation. The colonists denied that
the mother country had any right to tax them.
Bells were tolled, ships in the harbour flew their
flags half-mast high, shops were shut, for it seemed
as though the liberty of the American colonies were
Men denounced it openly. "Caesar," cried one
in a voice of thunder, **had his Brutus, Charles
the First had his Cromwell, and George the
" Treason ! treason ! " shouted his hearers.
The young colonist paused.
" George the Third," he finished, " may profit by
A distinguished Ameriqan, Benjamin Franklin,
went to England to protest against the Stamp
"What will be the consequences of this Act?"
the English asked him.
"A total loss of the respect and affection the
people of America bear to this country, and of all
the commerce that depends on that respect and
affection," he answered firmly.
" Do you think the people of America would
submit to a moderated Stamp Act?" they asked
1766.] REPEAL OF THE STAMP ACT. 41
"No, never!" he cried with emphasis; "never,
unless compelled by force of arms."
For the first time in their history the colonies
united in the face of a common danger. The
colonists held a great Congress. Each colony was
represented, and they resolved to resist the Stamp
England was startled by the news : it called Pitt
to the front again. He understood the American
colonies ; he knew the value of their friendship, the
danger of their separation. He had been ill when
the Stamp Act was passed. Now his old eloquence
burst forth again.
"This kingdom has no right to lay a tax on
the colonies," he cried. "America is obstinate;
America is almost in open rebellion. Sir, I rejoice
that America has resisted. Three millions of people
so dead to all feelings of liberty as voluntarily to
submit to be slaves would have been fit in-
struments to make slaves of the rest."
His words carried conviction : the Stamp Act
In America the news was received with en-
thusiasm. Bells were rung, bonfires blazed forth,
loyal addresses to the King of England were sent
across the seas. The quarrel seemed to be at an
And the colonies had learnt something of the
strength of their union.
The Stamp Act had been repealed, but England
42 A DUTY ON TEA, [l773.
reserved the right of regulating American trade
by imposing duties upon merchandise imported into
the colonies. Discontent again arose ; and when,
in 1773, a duty on tea was levied, the colonies
were ablaze with indignation. They declared that
England had no right to enforce a tea-duty, and
they refused to receive the tea.
It was the morning of Thursday, December 16,
1773 — one of the most momentous days in the
history of the world. Seven thousand persons were
gathered in the streets of Boston. One of the
English tea-ships rode at anchor off Boston harbour,
and the citizens of the town refused to land the
tea unless the duty were repealed. A watch of
twenty-five colonists guarded the wharf by day
and night, sentinels were placed at the top of the
church belfries, post-riders were ready with horses
saddled and bridled, beacon fires were prepared
on every hill -top, should the English use force to
land their tea. There was a law that every ship
must land its cargo within twenty days of its
arrival. At sunrise on December 17 the twenty
days would have expired. The English ship still
lay at anchor with her cargo on board. Would
she sail home again, or would her sailors fight ?
It was late in the afternoon of the 16th. The
crowds waited on into the dusky evening to see
what would happen. The old meeting-house was
dimly lit with candles, where an important conclave
was being held.
1773.] AMERICAN REVOLUTION. 43
"This meeting can do no more to save the
country," said a voice amid profound silence.
It was the watchword appointed by the men of
Boston to use force. Suddenly a war-whoop was
heard through the silent air, and fifty men, dis-
guised as Indians, ran quickly towards the wharf
They were men of standing, wealth, and good
repute in the Commonwealth, but in gaudy feathers
and paint, with tomahawks, scalping -knives, and
pistols. They alarmed the English captains not a
little. They quickly cut open the chests of tea
on board and emptied the contents of each into
the sea. By nine o'clock that evening no less than
342 chests of tea had thus been treated, while the
vast crowds of colonists looked down on the strange
scene in the clear frosty moonlight.
Next morning the salted tea, driven by wind
and wave, lay in long rows along the coast of
Massachusetts, while citizens, booted and spurred,
were riding post-haste to Philadelphia with the
news of Boston's action.
America had at last thrown down the gauntlet
for the mother country to pick up.
The great Revolution had begun.
44 DECLABATION OP RIGHTS. [l775.
10. THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
" Beyond the vast Atlantic tide
Extend your healing influence wide,
Where millions claim your care ;
Inspire each just, each filial thought.
And let the natives round be taught
The British oak is there."
— Whitehkad (1775).
The hour of the American Revolution had come,
but England knew it not. The conduct of the
men of Boston roused her wrath, and she prepared
punishment. The liberties of Massachusetts — en-
joyed for a hundred and fifty years — ^were taken
away : the port of Boston was blockaded.
" The die is cast," said Greorge III. triumphantly.
" The colonies must either trimnph or submit. We
must be resolute."
But there was resolution on the other side of
the Atlantic too. A Congress of colonists met at
Philadelphia to consider the question. Men from
all the thirteen colonies were there, their petty
disputes forgotten in the face of this common
" I am not a Virginian, I am an American," said
one member, speaking for all.
They now drew up and sent to England their
famous Declaration of Rights. They did not ask
for independence as yet : they did not want to
break with the mother country. They asked for
1775.] OUTBREAK OF WAR. 45
the freedom of their forefathers, for the right of
making their own laws and levying their own
England was astonished and dismayed. Pitt,
no longer the Great Commoner but Earl of Chatham,
came forward and begged for moderation.
"It will soon be too late," he pleaded. "It is
not repealing a piece of parchment that can win
back America. You must respect her fears and
resentments, and you may then hope for her love
But Chatham's ominous words " availed no more
than the whistling of the winds." More English
troops were sent out to Boston, and America
prepared to resist by force. The call to arms went
forth. Washington was made commander-in-chief
of the army of the " United Colonies of America."
The thunder-cloud so long hanging over the land
had broken at last.
Already skirmishes had taken place between the
English and Americans, but the first battle was
fought at Bunker's Hill in the year 1775. It wa&
one of the strangest battles ever fought. En-
trenched on the hills above the town of Boston
were some 1600 simple civilian citizens. They had
no uniform : each man was dressed in his homely
working clothes, each man carried his own gun.
All were unskilled in warfare.
At the foot of the hills were 4000 of the finest
troops in the world. Their uniforms shone with
46 BATTLE OF BUNKER's HILL. [l776»
scarlet, white, and gold, while on their banners
blazed the names of famous battles won.
But resplendent as they were, the British troops
were unable to endure the destructive fire of the
colonists. Again and again they advanced up the
hill; again and again they reeled back with
shattered ranks, leaving heaps of English dead
upon the fire-swept slope.
"Are the Yankees cowards?" shouted the men
of Massachusetts, as the English retreated before
But there came a time when the colonial
troops could hold out no longer. They had fired
their last volley, their supply of powder was
exhausted, and the English charged the hill and
A hundred and fifteen Americans lay dead across
the threshold of their country, but they had shown
what they could do.
" How did they behave ? " asked Washington
anxiously, when he heard news of the battle.
"They stood their ground well," was the proud
"Then the liberties of the country are safe,"
replied Washington, with a weight of doubt lifted
from his heart, as he rode on to take supreme
command of the troops.
There was stifi* work yet before him. All
through the long winter of snow and ice he de-
fended Boston with his raw, ilLfed, ill-armed army.
Declaration of Independence.
48 DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. [l776.
until, in the spring of 1776, the English were
obliged to withdraw to New York.
And Washington entered the gates of Boston in
triumph, the flag of the thirteen stripes-^-emblem
of the thirteen united colonies — waving above his
Gradually an idea of independence was growing
in the colonies — of separation from the mother
country, who had failed to understand her children.
They would have clung to her still, had she but
treated them with the consideration they had
Congress met at Philadelphia, and on July 4
1776 the colonists drew up their famous Declaration
of Independence, disclaiming all obedience to the
British crown. The words of the Declaration are
still read aloud on the anniversary of every year*
The war was continued with renewed vigour.
The sufferings of the Americans were very great,
and would have broken the heart of any man of
less heroic mould than George Washington. But
the autumn of 1777 saw one of his noblest triumphs,
when 3500 British soldiers were surrounded and
forced to surrender on the heights of Saratoga. It
was the turning-point of the war.
"You cannot conquer America," cried Chatham
once more. " Bedress their grievance and let them
dispose of their own money. Mercy can do no
harm : it will seat the king where he ought to be
— throned in the hearts of his people."
1788.] UNITED STATES REPUBLIC. 49
His words were too late. The British disaster
at Saratoga had encouraged the French, and early
in 1778 France openly allied herself to America,
acknowledging the independence of the United
States. For five years more the war languished,
and then England too had to acknowledge the in-
dependence of her colonies. She had learnt a lesson
which would teach her in future how much con-
sideration was due to those dependencies which
The United States were now a Republic. Their
government was to consist of a President, a Vice-
President, and a Congress, to sit at New York.
And who should the colonists choose for their
first President but George Washington ? He had
led them to victory. He should guide them
As he stepped forward to accept the honoured
post a great shout of joy arose from the enthusi-
astic colonists. He looked an old man now, grown
grey and blind in the service of his country.
Dressed in simple dark-brown cloth, his sword by
his side, he solemnly swore to "preserve, protect,
and defend the Constitution of the United States."
And so, amid the waving of flags, the ringing of
bells, the firing of guns, and the shouts of the
people, the great ceremony ended.
George Washington, soldier and patriot, was the
first President of the United States of America.
BK. IV. i>
50 JAMES COOK. [1728-1779.
11. CAPTAIN COOK'S STORY.
" We know the merry world is round,
And we may sail for evermore."
While England was struggling with her colonies
across the Atlantic, an Englishman, Captain Cook,
was sailing away across the Pacific to claim fresh
lands for the British crown in New Zealand and
Australia. Captain Cook, one of the greatest navi-
gators of his age, had played his part in the
American war. To him had been intrusted the
difficult task of surveying the intricate channels
of the river St Lawrence when Wolfe was making
his arrangements to take Quebec from the French.
Born in the year 1728, James Cook had been
apprenticed, at the age of thirteen, to a shopkeeper
near Whitby, in the north of England. But the
life was very distasteful to the boy. Though he
knew well enough the roughness of a sailor's life
in those days, — of the salt junk they had to eat,
of the foul water to drink, of the brutality of the
old sea-captain, of disease and death, — yet he longed
to go to sea. And one day he tied up his few
belongings in his only handkerchief, stole out of
the shop at daybreak, passed quietly down the
village street, and walked the nine miles to Whitby,
where he was taken on board a collier as ship's boy.
1769.] CIRCUMNAVIGATES NEW ZEALAND. 51
It was not long before he entered the king's service
and went through the Quebec campaign,^ from
which he returned a marked man. He found a
keen interest awakening in England with regard
to the Pacific Ocean, about which so little was
known. Men full of courage had started forth,
but limited water, contrary winds, difficulties of
getting fresh food, and outbreaks of scurvy, had
"t an end to each expedition in turn.
\w a new expedition was planned and the
\nd given to Captain Cook. With a crew
v.* x^xx^wvy-four men, and food for ten months, he
sailed from England in a stoutly-built collier, the
Endeavour, to explore the Pacific Ocean.
It seems strange to think that at this time
Australia and New Zealand were practically un-
known in Europe. Not a single white man lived
Cook now sailed round Cape Horn, and crossed
the Pacific Ocean till he fell in with the east
coast of New Zealand, which he found to consist
of two islands as large as his own Great Britain.
For six months he examined their shores, discovered
by Tasman^ 130 years before. Then leaving the
coast at a point he named Cape Farewell, he sailed
to the north-west, over a thousand miles of sea,
till he touched at last the coast of the great
"southern land" — Australia. The country so
resembled that which he had left at home that he
^ See Book IV. chapter 7. * See Book III. chapter 32.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
DISCOVERY OF NEW SOUTH WAI-ES. [l771-
gave it the name of New South Wales, while to the
bay in which they first anchored he gave the name
of Botany Bay, The discovery of Botany Bay
solved a great problem for England : she was no
longer able to send her convicts to Virginia as
she had done hitherto, so she sent them to New
South Wales instead, and the first settlement of
English people in Australia was made at Botany
Bay, five miles south of Sydney.
Cook followed the coast of Australia northward
for 2000 miles, and after an absence of three years
he reached home. But disease and death had over-
taken his crew, and the Endeavour was little better
than a hospital when she staggered into port at last.
Cook had mastered the art of navigation in unknown
seas, but he had not solved the problem of how to
prevent scurvy killing off his crew after some time
So, when he was appointed to command the
Resolution the following year, with orders to
complete the discovery of the southern hemisphere,
he gave his whole attention to the subject. This
second voyage of Captain Cook marks an epoch
in the history of navigation.
He left England with a hundred men on board,
and sailed to the Cape of Good Hope, where the
Dutch settlement^ was still prospering. Here he
stopped awhile to give his sailors fresh food.
*' Fresh beef and mutton, new - baked bread, and
* See Book III. chapter 33.
1772-1776.] IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. 53
as much greens as they could eat," he ordered.
While at the Cape a Dutch ship came in reporting
the death of 150 sailors from scurvy in four months,
and Cook took the lesson to heart.
Leaving the Cape he sailed southwards, but a
great gale sprang up and blew the ship out of her
course, right among some ice -islands of enormous
"When we reflected on the danger," said Cook,
*'our minds were filled with horror. For if our
ship ran against the side of one of these islands
when the sea was running high, she must have
been dashed to pieces in a moment."
Nevertheless he sailed among the ice-islands for
many weeks, till he had assured himself there
was no land to be found there. The ropes and
rigging of the ship were frozen, the decks were
sheathed in ice. One bitter morning nine little
pigs were born on board the Resolution, but despite
every care bestowed on them, they were all frozen
to death in a few hours.
At last Cook sailed for New Zealand, for he
had now been one hundred days at sea without
ever seeing land, while he had sailed 11,000 miles.
After so long at sea, under such trying circum-
stances, it would have been natural to suppose
that there must be illness among the sailors. But,
thanks to the Captain's precautions, they were all
in excellent health.
He now discovered some new islands in the Pacific
S4c DEATH OF COOK. [l779.
Ocean, taking possession of them for England —
the Friendly Islands, Society Islands, and the Sand-
Having completely circumnavigated the globe
near the Antarctic circle, Cook returned home
with the Resolution. Not only had he left the
British flag flying over distant islands in the Pacific
Ocean, but he had done what no navigator before
him had done, — he had returned, after cruising
for three years amid untold dangers, with a clean
bill of health. He had lost only one sailor from
illness all that time. He had made their health
his first care. He had set them an example of
eating what was wholesome, however distasteful
it might be, and so he had avoided that sailor's
scourge — the scurvy.
The account he published of his voyages awoke
the interest of Europe in these far-off lands.
Englishmen read of coral reefs and palm-trees, of
the bread-fruit of Tahiti, the tattooed warriors
of New Zealand, of gum-trees and kangaroos, till
they felt that this new world of wonders was
really their own, and that " a new earth was open
in the Pacific for the expansion of the English
One last word of Cook himself, by whose steady
perseverance and resolution these objects were
attained. He was killed in one of the Pacific
islands he had discovered; but we like best to
1 See Book IV. chapter 31.
1768.] AFRICAN EXPLORATION. 55
think of the stern old sailor, his face set south-
wards, steering on through the ice-bound seas,
thinking not of hunger and cold and monotony,
but of how " soon he can break through that
wall of ice and learn what is beyond."
12. JAMBS BRUCE AND THE NILE.
" In sunset's light, o'er Af ric thrown,
A wanderer proudly stood
Beside the well-spring, deep and lone,
Of Egypt's awful flood ;
The cradle of that mighty birth,
So long a hidden thing to earth."
— F. Hemans.
While Captain Cook was exploring the unknown,
another man — James Bruce — was opening up the
geography of the world in another quarter. There
were still many blank spots on the map of the
world even in this eighteenth century. For 3000
years the source of the Nile had been a mystery
which no man had as yet solved, until it had passed
into a proverb that to discover the source of the
Nile was to perform the impossible.
This man determined to perform the impossible,
A strong young Scotsman, — athletic, daring, a
very giant in height, — James Bruce married the
orphan daughter of a wine-merchant in Portugal
at the age of twenty- three. She died nine months
56 JAMES BRUCE. [1730-1794.
later, and he travelled off to Spain and Portugal to
inspect the vines from which the wine was made.
Here he was fascinated by the many Moorish
remains, and studied Arabic. He came under the
notice of Pitt, and was made consul of Algiers.
Before he went, however, Pitt's successor had a
talk with the young consul. He alluded casually
to the undiscovered sources of the Nile. The idea
took hold of Bruce's strong imagination.
"It was at that moment," he says, "that I
resolved that this great discovery should either
be achieved by me or remain — as it has done for
3000 years — a defiance to all travellers."
For two years he did his duty as consul at
Algiers. But the spirit of adventure was strong
upon him. He resigned his post and crossed the
desert to Tripoli. Here he embarked on board a
Greek ^hip for Crete. A violent storm overtook
him, the ship foundered, and Bruce had to swim
for his life in the raging sea, to be cast up helpless
on the coast of Africa. Lying in an exhausted
state on the sands, he was beaten and plundered
by Arabs, and after a time sailed once more for
Crete and so on to Egypt, where he arrived in the
summer of 1768. Having gained the confidence
of Ali Bey, the chief of the Mameluke rulers, he
obtained leave for his journey to Abyssinia. The
country was unruly and wild, cruelty and op-
pression reigned under the Mameluke rule of those
days. It was very different to the Egypt of to-
1768.] UP THE NILE. 57
day, where British protection has brought freedom,
peace, and prosperity.
Bruce sailed up the Nile, past Thebes,^ to the
first cataract at Assuan. He visited the ruins
of Kamak and Luxor, and, crossing the desert
on a camel, embarked at a little mud- walled village
on the shores of the Red Sea.
After a time he reached Massowah, the port of
Abyssinia. The place was little more than a den
of thieves and murderers, and had it not been for
the kindness of Achmet, the governor's nephew,
Bruce would have assuredly been slain. Achmet
would fain have detained him altogether. He
thought it madness for Bruce to proceed ; but the
sturdy young Scotsman was true to his trust, and,
dressed in the long white Moorish dress of the
country, he started for Gondar, the capital.
His way lay across mountainous country, indeed
he had to cross the highest mountain in Abyssinia.
Food was scarce, hyenas reduced the slender stock
of donkeys, storms of rain soaked them to the skin,
and often enough the little party were in a sorry
plight. Bruce's light clothes were soon in rags,
his feet bled from the long tramps over rocky
ground, but he pushed bravely on toward Gondar,
and at last — ninety -five days after leaving
Massowah — he arrived at the capital.
The throne of Abyssinia was still occupied by a
supposed descendant of King Solomon; but the
^ See Book I. chapter 4.
58 BRUCE IN ABYSSINIA. [l769.
country was unsettled and lawless, and many
governors strove for the mastery. Smallpox was
raging at the palace when Bruce arrived, and he
soon showed his skill as a doctor in dealing with
the cases. As a reward^ the king made him
Master of his Horse.
" I told him that this was no kindness. My
only wish was to see the country and to find the
source of the Nile." But the king would not let
The delay worried the explorer not a little, and
at last he persuaded the king to take him on an
expedition to the banks of the great river, where
there was fighting to be done. For his services
the king gave him the district in which the Nile
was supposed to rise, and Bruce at last was fi:ee
to start on this last great quest. Through days of
burning heat he pushed on with his local guide.
They scrambled over mountains and across scorch-
ing plains, until at last Bruce stood on the top of
the Abyssinian table-land, and looked down on to
the very spot where the springs of the Nile arosa
Trampling down the flowers that grew on the
mountain-side, and falling down twice in his haste
and excitement, Bruce stood at the source of the
Nile, gazing at the " hillock of green sod " which
has made his name famous.
" It is easier to guess than describe the state of
my mind at that moment," he said afterwards,
"standing in that spot which had bafiled the
1770.] SOURCE OF THE BLUE NILE. 59
genius, industry, and inquiry of both ancients and
moderns for the course of near 3000 years ! "
So far he was right; but after all he had only
discovered the source of the Blue Nile in the Abys-
sinian heights. The White Nile, which joins it at
Khartum, was not traced to its source for another
It was some time before he could tear himself
from the scene of all his hopes and fears to face
the hardships of his return journey. Difficult as
the outward journey had been, it was as nothing
compared to the sufferings and troubles that tried
him on the return. It was the autumn of 1772
before he reached Assuan, and eighteen months
later before he reached England, after an absence
of twelve years. Disappointment awaited him.
Not satisfied with the reward of his own success,
he expected honours and riches from the coimtry
for whom he had risked so much. But people
would not believe his wonderful stories. They
laughed at the wild tales he told of the Abys-
sinians, their customs and habits, and Bruce went
back to Scotland heart-broken.
Sixteen years later he wrote an account of his
travels in five fat volumes, which are among the
most interesting in the world of adventure. Long
years after his death it was proved that his sayings
were true. Anyhow, James Bruce "will always
remain the poet, and his work the epic, of African
60 WAEREN HASTINGS. [1782-1818.
13. THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS.
" When mercy seasons justice."
While Captain Cook was discovering new lands for
his country, and America was asserting her in-
dependence, events of great importance were taking
place in India.
Robert Clive, the victor of Plassey and founder
of the Indian Empire, was dead, but the East India
Company had found an able successor in Warren
Hastings, a man whose name is " writ large across
a very important page of Indian history."
Warren Hastings was bom in 1732, at a time
when the fortunes of his family were at a very
low ebb and the old home of his ancestors had
passed into strangers' hands. His father was very
poor, and little Warren went to the village school.
But at the age of seven the boy made a plan. It
was to lead him through many glories and many
crimes. One bright summer day he lay on the
bank of a stream that flowed through the lands
of his forefathers, and as he gazed at the old
dwelling of his race he swore to himself that some
day he would win back his inheritance.
At the age of seventeen he sailed to India as a
clerk in the employ of the East India Company.
Before long he came under the notice of Clive, who
1773.] GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA. 61
noted him as promising ; and he was soon appointed
to posts of importance, first at Bengal, then at Cal-
cutta, and later at Madras. In 1771, a few years
after dive's retirement, he was made Governor of
Bengal. Here his work was gigantic. He brought
order out of chaos ; he extended the British
Empire in India by his genius, by his patience,
by his untiring energy. He enriched the East
India Company, and in 1773 he became Governor-
General of all the English possessions in India.
But his rule henceforth was one of oppression, and
misery followed in its train. When he marched
against the great Indian warrior, Hyder Ali, who
had overrun lands under British sway, he allowed
whole native villages to be set on fire, slaughtered
the inhabitants, or swept innocent people into
Here is a story of that injustice which after-
wards brought Warren Hastings into such trouble
at home. He wanted money not only for himself
but for the Company. The Baja of Benares, on
the Ganges, was bound to render a certain sum
of money to the East India Company every
year. The Governor-General now called on him
to pay an additional sum, but the Raja delayed.
Then Warren Hastings fined him for his delay,
and went to Benares to collect the sum himself
With reckless courage he entered the city on the
Ganges with a mere handful of men. The Raja
still refused to pay the extra fine, and Warren
62 A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION. [l785.
Hastings had him arrested at once and shut up
in his palace. The palace was guarded by two
companies of sepoys or native soldiers, under
English oflScers. But the men of Benares were
furious: they killed the Englishmen and slaughtered
the sepoys. The Raja then lowered himself to the
ground by a rope made of turbans, crossed the
Ganges, and made his escape.
Warren Hastings meanwhile was in great peril.
He fled for his life, under cover of darkness, from
the angry city. Then he sent troops against the
mutinous Baja, declared his estates forfeit, and
obtained large sums of money, much of which never
found its way at all into the treasury of the East
Rumours of his conduct reached England, and
when he returned home in the summer of 1785 he
found many of his countrymen boiling with wrath-
ful indignation. There was a statesman named
Burke who had a passion for justice. In his eyes
the whole career of Warren Hastings in India was
stained by a long succession of unjust acts. He
had watched the growing empire in India for years
with rising wonder and wrath. If England's glory
in the East depended on unjust deeds, then he, for
his part, would have " refused the gain and shud-
dered at the glory.'' With the return of Hastings
the time was ripe to strike a severe blow at this
system of oppression.
A new spirit of mercy and pity was abroad in
1788.] TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS. 63
England. A sympathy for the suflterings of man-
kind was moving Englishmen to improve the con-
dition of their jails, to raise hospitals for the sick,
to send missionaries to the heathen, and to make
crusades against the slave trade. So when Burke
made known the conduct of Warren Hastings in
India, there was a general outcry throughout the
On February 13, 1788, the famous trial that was
to last seven years opened in London at West-
minster Hall. The great historic place was crowded
to overflowing. Its old grey walls were hung with
scarlet ; the approaches were lined with soldiers ;
170 peers attended in robes of scarlet and ermine.
The Prince of Wales — afterwards George IV. — was
there. All the rank and beauty of England seemed
gathered in the great hall on this winter morning.
Warren Hastings entered. He was a small man ;
his face was pale and worn. He was dressed in
-a plain poppy -coloured suit of clothes; he bore
himself with courage and dignity.
But it was not until Burke, his accuser, rose to
speak that the feelings of that great audience were
stirred. As England'is great orator rose, a scroll
of papers in his hand, there was a breathless
silence. He began by giving his hearers a vivid
picture of Eastern life and customs. Then he
accused Warren Hastings of having defied the
laws of these Indian people over whom he was
ruling in the name of England, of outraging their
64 BURKE's impeachment. [1788.
old customs, destroying their temples, and taking
their money by dishonest means. To such a pitch
of passion did Burke rise, that every listener in that
vast hall, including Warren Hastings himself, held
his breath in an agony of horror. So great grew
the excitement, that women were carried out
fainting, smelling bottles were handed round, while
sobs and even screams were heard on every side.
The orator ended his famous speech with these
words : " Therefore hath it with all confidence been
ordered by the Commons of Great Britain that I
impeach Warren Hastings of high crimes and mis-
demeanours ; I impeach him in the name of the
English nation, whose ancient honour he hath
sullied ; I impeach him in the name of the people
of India, whose rights he hath trodden under foot
and whose country he has turned into a desert;
lastly, in the name of human nature itself, in the
name of both sexes, in the name of every age, in
the name of every rank, I impeach the common
enemy and oppressor of all."
This was the beginning of the trial : the end
was very diflferent. As year after year passed, it
still continued. Public interest in it almost ceased
as other great events claimed the attention of
England. It was not till 1795 — seven years after-
wards — that the verdict was at last given. Mean-
while public feeling had changed. Pity had arisen
for the little Governor-General of India, — the man
who had once ruled over fifty millions of people, —
FRENCH AFFAIRS. 65
as the trial dragged on. And when he was ac-
quitted, there was almost universal applause.
Burke had failed to convict the man, but he taught
Englishmen that mercy and justice must play their
part in the government of the British Empire be-
yond the seas, and that national honour must go
hand in hand with national prosperity.
And Warren Hastings himself? He was a free
man now, and he spent the rest of his days at
the old home of his forefathers, towards which he
had yearned as a little boy, and which he had now
won back through much toil and tribulation.
14. MARIE ANTOINETTE.
" Man is bom free, and everywhere he is in chains."
These events bring us to the verge of one of the
most thrilling and terrible stories in modern history
— the great French Revolution.
If the young colonists in America had cried out
against unjust taxation, far more grievous was the
cry wrung from the peasants of France under a
system of taxation that had long existed in their
own country. The mass of the people lived and
struggled, suflfered and died, under painful and cruel
conditions. Pitiless indeed were the burdens laid
upon the land, until the very life and hope of the
nation seemed to be sapped away. The poor were
BK. IV. E
66 UNJUST TAXATION. [l774.
taxed while the rich went free. Duties were laid
on articles of daily need — candles, fuel, wine, and
grain, while the tax on salt was the hardest of all.
Every man, woman, and child over seven years of
age had to buy 7 lb. of salt a-year, and a heavy-
fine was inflicted on those who could not or would
not pay. So the nation groaned under its burden.
Young women grew old before their time with toil,
men worked under a cloud of hopeless gloom, and
the nobles of France grew rich and prospered.
Such a state of things could not last. All knew
that a change must come sooner or later. Great
men — Voltaire and Rousseau — arose and wrote
against the existing evils. Voltaire called on the
king to take the work in hand. But the years
passed on and little was done till, in 1774, the
king, Louis XV., died, to be succeeded by his grand-
son as Louis XVI.
Now four years before this Louis — the Dauphin,
as he was called — had married Marie Antoinette,
the beautiful young daughter of Mark Theresa,^
Empress of Germany. The little Marie Antoinette
was but fourteen, and the Dauphin fifteen, when
a marriage was arranged between them, to cement
the peace made a few years since between Austria
Marie Antoinette was the youngest of sixteen
children. She was a pretty, careless, pleasure-
loving child, captivating all who came near her,
^ See Book III. chapter 62.
1770.] MARRIAGE OF MARIE ANTOINETTE. 67
and her mother had set her heart on her becoming
the Queen of France some day.
It was yet early in the morning of April 21, in
the year 1770, when the little Austrian girl left
Vienna, her old home, for the long drive to Paris.
The streets were thronged, as the long line of
carriages rolled through the city gate on their way
to the French frontier. A fortnight's driving
brought them to Strasburg. The young German
poet Goethe has told us, how here she was met by
her new French suite. Her Austrian clothes were
taken off, and she was dressed in new clothes from
Paris. Fl^ench ladies, provided for her by the King
of France, now came forward to take charge of her.
Weeping bitterly, the child kissed her Austrian
attendants, sending messages of love back to her
mother and sisters at home.
*' Pardon me," she said, turning to her French
suite and smiling through her tears. " Henceforth
I shall never forget that I am French."
On May 16 she was married to the Dauphin,
whom she had seen for the first time two days
before. A terrific storm burst over Versailles on
the wedding-day, causing many a Frenchman to
shake his head and prophesy evil.
The young bridegroom himself was but sixteen.
He was grandson to the present king. Having
lost his father some years before, he was now heir
to the throne of France. He had led a solitary
life among the splendours and luxuries of the court
68 KING AND QUEEN OF FBANCE. [l774.
at Versailles. He was shy and awkward, fond of
hunting, but knowing little enough of the pitiable
state of that country he would soon be called upon
Four years after the marriage Louis the king
died of smallpox. His grandson and the beautiful
young Austrian were King and Queen of France.
" O God ! guide us, protect us ; we are too
young to reign," they cried, falling on their knees
with streaming eyes.
For a time it seemed as if brighter days
might be dawning for France under the new King
Louis XVI. and his minister Turgot, the greatest
statesman in France since the days of Richelieu.
Turgot tried to make the young king understand
how dangerous was the state of his country, how
badly in need of reform. He would tax the rich as
well as the poor, would abolish forced labour, would
give France a national life in which each citizen
must bear a part. But Louis was incapable of
grasping the great crisis through which his poor
country was passing.
" The king is above all, for the good of all," said
Louis could not rise to this ideal of kingship, and
in 1776 Turgot was dismissed.
" Do not forget, sire, that it was weakness which
placed the head of Charles I. on the block," he said
at parting. The words were prophetic of what
should happen, but his reminder was in vain.
1776.] AN IRRESPONSIBLE QUEEN. 69
The luxuries at the court now increased. The
winter of 1776 was bitterly cold, and bread was
very dear. Deep snow lay in the streets of Paris,
and the poor suffered acutely.
One day a gay train of sleighs drove through
Paris. With every appearance of wealth, comfort,
and luxury, Marie Antoinette, the Queen, was
enjoying the snow and keen air, with no attempt
to hide her merriment. The poor people shivered
at their doors. They had never seen sleighs
" The Austrian," they muttered with displeasure ;
for the marriage had never been popular in France,
and a feeling grew up between the irresponsible
young queen and her unhappy subjects.
It was not till her tragic death seventeen years
later, that she atoned for the past by the courage
and dignity with which she met her fate.
16. THE FALL OF THE BASTILE.
"The old order changeth, yielding place to new."
It was in the year 1776 that America made her
famous Declaration of Independence. France was
the first nation to recognise it, and she sent over
men and troops to help the young country in its
struggle against oppression. Side by side French-
70 THE STATES-GENERAL. [l789.
men fought with the English colonists in America.
With the settlement they returned to France " with
their hearts full of love and their lips loud in
praise of the young Republic and its simple splen-
Among those who fought for France was La-
fayette, a friend of George Washington. He now
came home to find that the war had cost France
more than she could pay, and that something must
be done at once, to save the country from hopeless
"Give us the States-General," he cried. "Let
the people have a voice in the government of their
Soon his cry resounded from one end of France to
the other, until the king was obliged to listen.
Now the States-General had not met for 175 years.
It was a body not unlike the English Parliament,
containing members of the Church, the nobles, and
the people. Under the last despotic rulers of
France, the voice of the people had long been silent.
There was danger to the king, when he allowed this
great force to be loosened in France.
It was May 5, 1789, when the States -General
assembled. The sun shone brilliantly, the streets
of Versailles were gay with banners, the air rang
with martial music. Eager faces looked down
from balcony and window on to the famous
pageant. At the head of the procession walked
the 600 representatives of the people — a great
1789.] THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 71
black-looking mass in their black coats and breeches,
black stockings, short silk mantles, and three-
cornered hats. Among them walked Mirabeau,
with his lion locks of black hair; among them,
too, might have been seen the small frail figure
of Robespierre — men to play their part in the
Three hundred nobles followed, in the brilliant
dresses of the age — cloaks of gold and high-plumed
hats. Among them was Lafayette, the hero of the
American war. They were followed by the 300
clergy in "purple and fine linen," and behind all
came the King, the Queen, and the Court. Here
were plumes and jewels, powdered heads and painted
faces, costumes resplendent in the May sunshine.
The whole solemn procession filed into the church
of St Louis, and next day the States-General met
A heated discussion on taxation arose. The
people proposed that the nobles and clergy should
pay taxes as well as themselves. The nobles and
clergy refused, and the people formed themselves
into a separate body called the National Assembly,
and assumed entire control of the State.
Angry days came and went. A cloud hung over
the gay Court at Versailles, where the little eight-
year-old Dauphin lay dying. But France was too
much engrossed with her new life to take much
note of the dying child, though he was heir to
the French throne. Only Marie Antoinette wept
72 ATTACK ON THE BASTILE. 11789.
for the drooping of the little royal head, and
rained bitter tears on the lifeless body of her
Meanwhile the conflict between the king and the
National Assembly went on. At last he addressed
the whole States -General — nobles, clergy, and
people — collected together for the purpose. He
would not sanction the National Assembly; they
must disperse at once. The king left, the clergy
and nobles filed out according to orders. The 600
people sat still.
*'Did you hear the orders of the king?" asked
*'Yes," roared Mirabeau; "and let me inform
you, you had better employ force, for we shall only
quit our seats at the bayonet's point."
These words were repeated and applauded
throughout France. Through the long sultry days
of July the storm gathered fast. In Paris it
reached its height, and on July 12 it burst.
" To arms 1 to arms 1 " shouted one insurgent, and
the cry spread like wildfire through the excited
city. Military stores were broken open, muskets
carried off in triumph, prisons were opened, custom-
houses burned. There was none to command, none
to obey. Early on the morning of the 14th the
fury of the people was directed against the Bastile,
the great State fortress and prison of Paris, where
for centuries past prisoners had been unjustly
thrown. Its double moat and massive walls should
1789] FALL OF THE BASTILE. 73
have protected it against an unruly mob, but the
people were strong and determined in their wrath.
Hour after hour, through that long summer day,
they fired on the old grey walls, till at last the
commander had to surrender.
The Bastile had fallen, and the sun set over a
triumphant city of fierce insurgents. Late that
night the news reached the king. He was asleep
in his palace at Versailles.
" The Bastile has fallen," they told him.
"But," said poor Louis sleepily, "that is a
" Sire," answered the messenger gravely, " it is
not a revolt, it is a revolution!"
The fall of the Bastile was the fall of the old
monarchy. The old order passed away on that
eventful evening in July. France was shaken to
its depths, and the eyes of Europe and America
were directed towards the struggling nation.
Three days later, the king made up his mind to
go to Paris^ While Marie Antoinette wept for his
safety he left Versailles. He was pale and anxious.
The long highway from Versailles to Paris was
" choking with people." Everywhere fluttered the
new colours adopted by the people of Paris — red,
white, and blue. Everywhere men and even women
were armed. In front of him, on a white horse,
rode Lafayette. Above them fluttered the tattered
banner of the Bastile.
" Long live the Nation 1 " was shouted on all
74 THE RIGHTS OF MAN. [l786.
sides. It was not until Louis reluctantly fixed
a cockade of red, white, and blue on his hat that
the cry " Long live the King ! " was heard.
JMLeanwhile the National Assembly, now joined
by the nobles and clergy, drew up their famous
Declaration of the Rights of Man. They swept
away all existing orders, declared that all were
born equal in rights, that all citizens were equal
in the eyes of the law, that virtue and talent en-
titled a man to office and not birth, that all worship
should be free.
The night was far advanced. It was the 4th of
August- — a marked day in the history of the
" But the king, gentlemen," said one who had
listened to these sweeping reforms, '' the king who
has called us after the long lapse of two centuries,
— shall he not have his reward ? "
''Let us proclaim him the restorer of French
liberty," they said.
And the Twelve Hundred representatives of the
French nation left the blazing hall and made their
way home through the warm summer night.
1789.] LAFAYETTE AT VERSAII^LES. 75
16. THE FLIGHT TO VARBNNBS.
** Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.**
There was now growing a feeling among the people
of Paris that the king and the National Assembly
should be in their midst, and no longer away at
Versailles. So on October 1789, a great mob of
citizens, mostly women, set out from Paris to
walk to Versailles and bring the king back to
Lafayette was commander-in-chief of the troops,
but it was with a heavy heart that he led .the
soldiers to Versailles. He felt the Revolution was
getting out of all control.
It was a day of rain, and when the mob reached
their destination they were weary, hungry, and
wet. All through that day and during the night
fresh bands of men and women from Paris kept
arriving, until early next morning. they broke into
" The king to Paris," shouted the dense throng
Louis stepped on to the balcony and assented to
Then arose a yet more furious cry—
" The queen ! the queen ! "
Marie Antoinette, with her children clinging to
her, now stepped out on to the balcony and looked
down on to the sea of furious faces below.
was the rough
hack, the poor
alone. It was a
moment of great
afraid for her safe-
ty, stepped for-
ward and sought
to make her peace
with the people.
them and kissed
1 V|Qn/1 Marie Antoinette on the balcony at Versailles.
The royal family was then forced to leave Ver-
1789.] AT THE TUILERIES. 77
Bailies^ the palace of Louis XIV. They were never
to return. They were taken to a palace in Paris
known as the Tuileries, — a cold, deserted dwelling,
- — where for the next two years they lived the life
of captives. The queen spent most of her time
with her two children, fearing to venture often
beyond the gardens. The king, deprived of his
hunting, grew gloomy and ill.
He was powerless in his own kingdom, a mere
tool in the hands of the Revolutionists. At last he
and the queen resolved to escape from the misery
of it all, from a life that had grown almost unbear-
able. . Very quietly they made their plans. The
night of Monday, June 20, was fixed for the
attempt. Everything was arranged for them by
Count Fersen, an intimate friend. In the afternoon
the Count paid his last visit to the Tuileries. He
had smuggled the last of the clothes for the disguise
into the palace. There was a frockcoat and round
hat for the king, who was to be a valet ; a travel-
ling dress and bonnet for the queen, who was to be
governess to her two children ; a frock for the little
six-year-old dauphin, Marie Antoinette's second
son, who was to be dressed as a girl.
Fersen left the queen weeping bitterly, for there
was a rumour that the plan had been discovered.
The children were put to bed as usual. At nine
o'clock supper was served ; the queen dismissed her
servants and retired to rest. At half-past ten she
crept to the little dauphin's room. The child was
78 THE ESCAPE FROM PARIS. [l789.
fast asleep j all unconscious of coming danger. The
queen woke him. His sister was already disguised
in a cheap muslin dress.
"They dressed my brother as a little girl," she
said afterwards, when telling the story of this
terrible night. "He looked beautiful, but was so
sleepy that he could not stand, and did not know
what we were all about."
The queen was dressed as a governess. All was
ready. She looked out into the night : everything
was quiet. Stealthily the royal fugitives crept
through dark unknown passages that warm June
night, till they reached the appointed door, which
stood unlocked. Then they crossed the courtyard
and stepped into the coach, which awaited them
with Count Ferseuj disguised as a coachman, on the
box. Here the king joined them as their valet,
and the carriage drove hastily off, through the
sleeping streets of Paris.
Outside the city they changed into a new yellow
coach, which was to convey them towards the
frontier of France. It had been waiting for two
hours owing to delays, and the dawn was already
breaking in the east.
" Drive — - drive as fast as possible," muttered
Count Fersen, jumping on to the box beside the
German coachman and cracking the whip. " Go
faster — faster ! "
On they went through the ever - brightening
morning, away from the pomps and shams of Paris
1789.] .THE KING DISCOVERED. 79
to the free life beyond the frontier. The king's
"I have escaped from that town of Paris,
where I have drunk so much^ bitterness," he cried
But he rejoiced too .soon : a chapter of accidents
now befell the royal family. The horses fell down
and broke the harness, which took an hour to mend.
They missed a carriage sent to meet them beyond
Chalons. But, most fatal of all accidents, the king
was recognised by a postmaster named Drouet,
who belonged to the Revolution party. The royal
party reached Varennes at eleven o'clock that
summer night to find they had been discovered.
" If you go a step farther we fire ! '' cried threat-
ening voices, while guns were levelled at the
carriage window. The poor disguised royal family
got out. They were led to a grocer's shop hard
by and taken up a narrow corkscrew staircase to
two small bedrooms. The unhappy queen put her
tired children to bed, while the king sat in an
arm-chair in the middle of the room in the deepest
In the course of the night a friend of the king
arrived and made his way up the narrow staircase
to ask for orders.
*' I am a prisoner : I have no orders to give,''
answered Louis in despair.
Even now a little firmness might have saved the
situation, and "French history had never come
80 BACK AT THE TUILERIES. [l789.
under this Varennes archway to decide itself."
But the moment passed. By dawn thousands of
peasants had assembled in Varennes, As the sun
broke over the lovely valley of the Aire, the grocer
begged the king to show himself to the growing
crowds in the streets below. Louis obeyed.
"Long live the King! Long live the nation!"
cried the people.
" There is no longer a king in France," muttered
Louis to his queen, as he read the message from
the National Assembly ordering him to return at
Slowly and sadly the royal family descended the
narrow stairs and entered the carriage once more.
Escorted by six thousand guards, they drove back
through the glare of a midsummer sun, exposed to
the insults of the mob, with blinds up and windows
open. The little dauphin slept at intervals, only
to awake screaming that he was in a forest where
wolves were attacking his mother, the queen.
On Saturday the 25th of June they entered the
gloomy palace of the Tuileries again, which they
had left so full of life and hope but five days since.
1792.] ATTACK ON THE TUILERIES. 81
17. A RBIGN OF TERROR.
" When France in wrath, her giant limbs upraised,
And with that oath which smote air, earth, and sea,
Stamped her strong foot and said she would be free."
Guards were now placed inside the palace of the
Tuileries as well as outside, sentinels stood in every
passage, and the door of each room was kept open
day and night. The king and queen dared not
venture beyond the gardens for fear of insult and
humiliation. From time to time they gave way
to outbursts of tears, as they realised the agony of
On June 20, 1792, a mob attacked the Tuileries,
burst into the palace, and the royal family barely
escaped with their lives.
Meanwhile the Revolution outside was becoming
more and more fierce. Mirabeau, the man who
might have saved for France her king, was dead.
*' I carry with me the ruin of a monarchy," he said
with prophetic insight as he lay dying.
Lafayette, who had urged moderation, was no
longer a power in the land. The country was
practically in the hands of three men, — Marat,
Danton, and Robespierre, — men whose desire it
was, to see the monarchy overturned and a complete
Republic established in France.
" Let us depose the king," was their cry.
BK. IV. F
Digitized by VjOOQIC
82 DEATH OF LOUIS XVI. [l793.
Gradually Louis was stripped of every emblem
of royalty. He was deprived of his sword, his
orders of knighthood were taken from him. He
was separated from his wife and children. At last
he was accused of treason, for having conspired
against the will of the people. His trial dragged
on amid fierce discussion. When the verdict was
given, he was found guilty of treason, and his
punishment was death. A last agonised meeting
with Marie Antoinette and his weeping children,
a passionate entreaty to the little dauphin never
to revenge • his death, and Louis XVI. of France
was led forth to die.
It was a bitter January day in the year 1793
when he was beheaded by the guillotine, a machine
erected in a public square in Paris, and used largely
during the Revolution.
" Frenchmen, I die innocent," cried the unhappy
king to the vast crowds collected to see him die.
'' I pardon my enemies."
" It is done ! It is done ! " muttered the French-
men who had ordained it, rubbing their hands as
the crowds dispersed. But as yet they did not
realise to the full what they had done. All
Europe shuddered with horror at their deed.
" Let us cast down before Europe, as the gauntlet
of battle, the head of a king," Danton had cried
Austrian and Prussian armies had already col-
lected on the frontiers of France. England,
1793.] A REIGN OF TERROR. 83
Holland, and Spain now joined in making war
on France. Alone stood the stricken nation — alone
against the powers of Europe, and rent by quarrels
A true Reign of Terror now broke over the
whole country. The monarchy had fallen, the
Republic was not yet established. The National
Assembly, now called the Convention, ruled the
country with absolute sway. Violent and ignorant
men resolved to blot out all royalists from the
country, by means of the guillotine, to accomplish
their end. The cry, " Liberty ! Equality ! Frater-
nity ! " rang from end to end of France. All titles
were abolished. Every man and woman, whether
noble or shoeblack, was addressed as " Citizen."
Numbers left France to take refuge in England
and other countries, but numbers were thrown into
prison and afterwards guillotined, without even a
show of trial. They were carried in carts, with
their hands tied behind them, to the place of public
execution, often hardly knowing the reason of their
death. Peasant girls were beheaded for humming
the tune of a royalist song, women for speaking
with pity of the victims already perished. All
traces of royalty must be swept from the land,
<5ried the tyrants, and swiftly and surely the
guillotine did its cruel work. Little children and
aged men, ladies of title and women of wealth —
all suffered alike. And still the cry rang through
the land, " Liberty ! Equality ! Fraternity ! "
84 DEATH OF MARIE ANTOINETTE. [l793.
At last the queen herself was sentenced. Already
the beautiful little dauphin had been torn from her
arms, and she had been sent to the common prison.
As she passed through the low door she had hit
her head. Her attendant had asked if she were
"No," she answered bitterly; "nothing can hurt
All day long she sat in a kind of stupor, in a
dungeon unfit for human use.
On October 13, 1793, she was brought forth to
her trial. Aged and bent beyond her years, the
once beautiful Marie Antoinette stood proudly be-
fore her accusers. The trial was short. Three days
later, seated in a common cart, her hands bound,
she was drawn from prison to the public square
where the guillotine stood. There Marie Antoinette,
Queen of France, was beheaded. " Oh Liberty !
Liberty ! How many crimes are committed in thy
name ! " exclaimed a well - known French lady,
Madame Roland, who suffered death on the same
spot three weeks later.
One day, when the troubles of the reign of terror
were at their height, a young girl, Charlotte
Corday, travelled from Normandy to Paris. She
had heard of the crimes committed by the leaders
of the Convention in the name of Liberty, and she
reasoned to herself, if the tyrants could be disposed
of, true liberty might be gained for France. She
selected Marat for her victim. Going to his house.
1795.] THE REPUBLIC OF FRANCE. 85
she obtained an interview with him, and as they
talked she drew out a knife and killed him.
" I killed one man," she said, as she faced the
death, that her act justly merited — "I killed one
man to save a hundred thousand, — to give repose
to my country."
Thus fell one of the leaders. ' The fate of the
others was not far distant. Their violence had
disgusted even their own party. Both Danton
and Robespierre perished by that guillotine to which
they had sent so many of their fellow-countrymen.
So the reign of terror ended. At last the object
for which so many thousands of lives had been
sacrificed was accomplished — France was a Republic.
There was no king, there were no nobles. The
government was conducted by five Presidents
under the name of the Directory.
18. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.
" The childhood shows the man
As morning shows the day."
But wonderful days were yet in store for this poor
storm-tossed France, with the rise of the greatest
soldier she has ever known, the greatest conqueror
that " ever followed the star of conquest across the
war-convulsed earth" — Napoleon Bonaparte. France
had but lately annexed the island of Corsica, which
86 NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. [1769-1821.
lies in the Mediterranean Sea, and had up to this
time belonged to Italy. Here, in the yeiar 1769,
Napoleon was born. He was but a year old, when
Marie Antoinette left her home at Vienna to marry
the dauphin of France; he was but seven, when
America declared her independence. He was one
of nine children — " olive-skinned, black-browed,
shrill-tongued " children — a famous family, indeed,
where one was to be an emperor, three were to be
kings ; while of the girls, one was to be a queen,
and two princesses.
Little enough is known of Napoleon's childhood.
His chosen toy was a small brass cannon, his
favourite retreat, a solitary summer-house among
the rocks by the seaside of Corsica, still known as
'' Napoleon's Grotto."
One story indeed is told of him in his school-
days. The master of the school, where little
Napoleon learnt with his elder brother Joseph,
arranged a sham fight for his pupils — Romans
against Carthaginians. Joseph was ranged on
the side of Rome, while his little brother was to
be a Carthaginian. But, piqued at being placed
on the losing side, the little boy fretted, fumed,
and at last stormed, till Joseph offered to change
places with him, and he was put on the winning
At the age of nine he was sent to a military
school in France. Though Joseph wept passion-
ately at the parting, his little brother dropped
1784.] NAPOLEON IN PARTS. 87
hardly a tear, though he was deeply attached to
his home and his mother.
At school he was proud and silent, holding aloof
from his companions, and hating France, because
she had taken Corsica from the Italians. He read
history eagerly. He delighted in Plutarch's Lives,
which told him about the Greek and Roman heroes
of old. He loved Caesar s account of the conquest
of Gaul, and spent whole nights pouring over his
wonderful exploits. At the age of fifteen he was
sent to Paris.
" He will be an excellent seaman," reported his
master; "and is worthy to enter the School at
He was a boy of plain tastes — indeed he had
been nicknamed the " Spartan " ^ by his school-
fellows — and the luxuries of Paris impressed him
deeply. He resented being taught at the expense
of Louis XVL, the king who had taken Corsica ;
but a year later he became lieutenant of artillery,
and after eight years' absence returned to his home
His force of character had already made itself
"You, Joseph, are the eldest," said a relation
who saw the boys together ; " but Napoleon is the
head of the family."
His father was dead. He too had cried aloud in
his last delirium for his little Napoleon, "whose
* See Book I. chapter 23.
88 AT THE STORMING OF THE TUILERIES. [l793.
sword should one day triumph over Europe ; "
while Rousseau had prophesied of Corsica, "This
little island will one day be the astonishment of
August 10, 1793, found him in Paris at the
storming of the Tuileries by the Revolution mob,
when the king and queen with difficulty escaped.
"If Louis XVI. had mounted his horse the
victory would have been his," Napoleon had cried
The next two years were spent between Corsica
and France. He tried many things, and failed in
all. He was nearly twenty-five, and wholly un-
known, when his chance came to him. Full of
unbounded ambition, he was ready to act wherever
glory was to be found. He might have thrown in
his lot with England or with Italy. He threw it
in with the Republicans of France. Louis had been
beheaded, and the reign of terror was at its height.
The Republic was carrying on war with the Royal-
ists without pause, without mercy.
Toulon was the great southern military store-
house of France, and Toulon had declared for the
Royalists. Not only this, but they had proclaimed
as King, Louis XVII., the poor little eight-year-old
dauphin, now languishing, fatherless and mother-
less, in a Paris prison. The English were helping
the men of Toulon to hold the town, and to guard
the hilly frontage of fifteen miles, which commanded
the sea. Napoleon, now serving the Republic,
1798.] FRENCH SUCCESS AT TOULON. 89
arrived at Toulon in September, and at once took
command of the artillery. Everything was in con-
fusion, but he saw clearly what alone would give
him the Royalist city. The French must sweep
the harbour with their fire, force the British ships
to retire, and Toulon must fall into the hands of
It was the night of December 17, 1793. Torrents
of rain were falling, a wild wind raged over the
Mediterranean Sea, while flashes of lightning added
new terrors to the night. In the midst of this
Napoleon made a determined attack on the British
defences, which were soon swept by his guns. So
deadly was the fire, there was nothing left the
Royalists but surrender. A terrible scene followed.
A magnificent French fleet lay in the harbour at
Toulon. Desperately the Royalists turned on it.
They set fire to a powder-ship, and soon the flames
of the burning ships lit up the surrounding country.
Prisoners broke loose from the town, and by
hundreds and thousands, the inhabitants of Toulon
flocked to the beach, begging for means of escape
from the Republicans. Above the howling wind
arose their pitiful cries for mercy. Napoleon never
forgot the terrors of that night. " The whirlwind
of flames and smoke from the arsenal resembled the
eruption of a volcano, and the vessels blazing in the
roads were like so many displays of fireworks. The
masts and forms of the vessels were distinctly traced
out by the flames, which lasted many hours, and
90 HORATIO NELSON. [1758-1805.
presented an unparalleled spectacle." So he wrot«
long years after, during his imprisonment at St
Thus Napoleon Bonaparte sprang into fame.
From this time onwards he advanced by rapid
strides to that greatness which has given him such
a conspicuous place in the history of the world.
19. HORATIO NELSON.
" Thine island loves thee well, thou famous man,
The greatest sailor since our world began."
Among the ships that had sailed into the harbour
of Toulon under the flag of Admiral Hood was the
Agamemnon, under the command of Horatio Nelson.
He was not present on that fateful night when the
British fleet had to escape into the storm, as he
had been sent to Naples with despatches. But it
is strange to think that the two greatest figures in
the war between England and France should " for
a moment have crossed each other's path at this
very beginning of the struggle."
Nelson was born in Norfolk, England, eleven
years before his great enemy Napoleon. Like the
little Napoleon, he was one of a large family. His
mother died when he was but nine years old. At
an early age he was sent to school, and of his school-
days many stories have been told. Here is one.
1770.] STORY OF NELSON's BOYHOOD. 91
The brothers William and Horatio Nelson were
returning to school on their ponies, after the
Christmas holidays. The snow lay deep, and the
boys thought this a good enough excuse for turning
" The snow is too deep to venture farther," said
William, as he met his father in the hall.
" If that indeed be the case, you shall certainly
not go," was the reply ; " but make another attempt,
and I will leave it to your honour. If the road be
found dangerous, you may return ; yet remember,
boys, I will leave it to your honour."
Off they set again. The road now became almost
impassable with drifts of snow, but although the
danger was great Horatio refused to return.
"We have no excuse," he said firmly. "Re-
member, brother, it was left to our honour."
Horatio Nelson was twelve years old when, one
day, he heard that his uncle had been made captain
of a large ship. The boy knew that his father was
very poor, and had a struggle to bring up his eight
motherless children. So he begged that his uncle
might be asked to take him to sea. He was a
sickly and fragile-looking little boy, and his uncle's
answer was not exactly encouraging.
"What has poor little Horatio done," he cried,
"that he, being so weak, should be sent to rough
it at sea ? But let him come ; and if a cannon-
ball takes off his head, he will at least be pro-
92 NELSON AT SEA. [l771.
Sad enough is the first picture of the little would-
be sailor. It was a dull grey morning when he
arrived at Chatham, and the boy shivered with cold
as he wandered about the dockyard looking for his
uncle's ship, bewildered by the strange sights that
met his eyes for the first time.
After all his uncle's ship did not sail, and the
boy was put on board a ship bound for the West
Indies. At first he was very unhappy, and as he
paced the broad quarter-deck of the vessel, plough-
ing her way over the stormy waters of the North
Atlantic Ocean, he yearned after his distant home
in England. The voyage suited him well, and he
returned, in 1771. a sunburnt lad of thirteen, with
" every hair a rope-yarn and every finger a fish-
He now joined a ship bound for the North Pole,
and amid the frozen silence of the far north he
learnt some of the lessons of his life.
One night, — so runs one story of him, — young
Nelson and another youth stole away from the ship,
which was fast among the ice, to try their luck in
shooting a bear. Nelson, armed with a rusty
musket, led the way in high spirits over frightful
chasms of ice. It was not long before the two
young adventurers were missed. A thick fog had
come on, and the captain of the bhip was in great
anxiety about the boys. Between three and four
in the morning the fog lifted, and the boys were
discovered at some distance attacking a large bear.
1778.] WAR BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE. 93
A signal was made to them to return at once.
Nelson's companion obeyed.
" Let me but get one blow at him," cried Nelson
But the captain saw what peril the boy was in.
He fired hastily, and frightened the bear away.
When Nelson returned he was severely scolded for
his conduct, though the captain could not but
admire the fearless courage of the young midship-
man. Nelson was greatly agitated. " Sir, I wished
to kill the bear, that I might carry its skin to my
father," he murmured in self-defence.
At the age of fifteen Nelson possessed all the
knowledge of an able seaman. In 1773, when
Napoleon was but four years old, he was sailing
ofi* to the East Indies. But here the climate told
on him. Disease took hold of him, he was wasted
to a mere shadow, and sent home. Bitterly dis-
appointed at the seeming failure, he felt he would
never rise in his chosen profession. He fretted
miserably about it, till one day he took himself
in hand. " I will be a hero," he cried, " and, con-
fiding in God, I will brave every danger."
This resolve to " do " now became the watchword
of his life. It was an ever-growing passion till it
ended in the grand finale, which will ring down the
ages — " England expects every man to do his duty."
Nelson was appointed to the Agamemnon in
1793, and a few days later the French Republic,
then at its fiercest heat, declared war on Great
94 NELSON AND NAPOLEON. [l793.
Britain and Holland. The dawn of a great war
stirred the blood of English boys, and Nelson re-
ceived a number of young midshipmen on board.
Among them was Josiah Nisbet, his stepson, a boy
about thirteen years old at this time. To these
young sailors he gave this advice : " First, you
must always implicitly obey orders, without at-
tempting to form any opinion of your own respect-
ing their propriety; secondly, you must consider
every man as your enemy who speaks evil of your
king ; and thirdly, you must hate a Frenchman as
you do the devil."
So in the year 1793 we have these two men —
Nelson, a rising sailor in the service of England ;
Napoleon, a rising soldier in the service of the
While they are preparing for the great struggle
that was soon to take place, let us turn to two great
explorers who were now playing their parts in un-
folding the geography of Africa and South America.
20. THE ADVENTURES OF MUNGhO PARK.
" Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
When the young Scottish surgeon, Mungo Park,
started forth on his travels, to find out about the
mysterious river Niger, little was known of the
1795.] MUNGO PARK IN WEST AFBICA. 95
interior of Africa. It was twenty-six years since
Bruce ^ had discovered the source of the Nile,
and still men thought that the Niger rose near it
and flowed right across the Dark Continent from
east to west, its mouths being the rivers Senegal
and Gambia on the west coast. It had long been
the dream of men of all nations to reach not only
the Niger, but also the wonderful city on its banks
called Timbuktu, which was said to be paved with
In the year 1795, when the French Revolution
was still at its height, Mungo Park, a young man
of twenty-four, offered his services to the British
African Society to explore this region. Tall and
strong, with an iron will and a sweet expression,
was this Mungo Park. He had already been to
the East Indies, and a thirst for travel and ad-
venture had seized him. He arrived on board an
African trading- vessel, in May 1795, at the mouth
of the Gambia, and sailed thence up the river
to the English dep6t at Pisania. Here he was
touched by the wretched condition of the slaves,
who were brought from the interior and shipped
to. England to supply the European market. But
his work lay in another direction.
It was December before he was ready to start.
His sole companions were a negro servant and a
slave boy. He took a horse for himself and two
donkeys for his servants, food for two days, some
1 See Book IV. chapter 12.
96 REACHES THE SENEGAL. [l796.
beads and tobacco for exchange, a few clothes, an
umbrella, compasses, a thermometer, besides a
couple of pistols and a few firearms.
Thus provided, thus attended, thus armed,
Mungo Park started for the heart of Africa. It
must have needed a stout courage indeed, plenty
of young enthusiasm and confidence, to face the un-
known thus scantily equipped. Waterless deserts,
trackless jungles, gloomy forests, angry natives —
all had to be encountered before the Niger could
It is not possible to follow him in detail, interest-
ing as his travels are. Now we see him standing
before some black king begging leave, by means
of gifts, to pass through his dangerous country.
Now he is stealing forth silently under the moon-
lit sky to escape from furious natives, to pass the
night in some great forest, where wild beasts made
the night hideous with their howls. Now he is
passing through country of untold beauty, where
the windings of the Senegal, descending from its
rocky heights, lend a pleasing variety to the scene.
The banks of the Senegal were reached two days
after Christmas. The next part of the road lay
through an inhospitable region, inhabited by
negroes of the most degraded type. So threat-
ening were they, so brutal in their conduct, that
the two native servants refused to venture farther,
and Mungo Park went forward alone. Gathering
together the few possessions now left him, he stole
1796.] TAKEN PRISONER. 97
away under cover of the darkness, and with a stern
resolution, unsurpassed in history, started on his
forlorn hope of reaching the mysterious Niger.
From all sides came the roar of wild beasts, adding
terror to his already dangerous situation. But
undismayed he plodded on, alone, through the
Suddenly one day he was seized and dragged
before a black Moorish king, and all hope seemed
to fade away. Men, women, and children crowded
round to see the white man. He was insulted,
tortured, starved. Day after day passed, leaving
him no means of escape. The desert winds scorched
him, sand-storms choked him ; the heavens above
were like brass, the earth beneath as the floor of
an oven. Fever came on him, and he feared death
with his great work yet unfinished. It was the
end of May before he escaped from this intolerable
Early one morning, when the sun was just
breaking across the sky and the Moors round him
were sleeping heavily, he took his bundle, stepped
stealthily over the sleeping negroes, jumped on to
his horse, and rode away as fast as possible. But
the horse, like its master, was reduced to mere skin
and bone after four months' captivity. Every
moment was one of life or death. Once he looked
round to see three Moors on horseback in full pur-
suit. They were brandishing weapons and scream-
ing threats, but he escaped, and rode breathlessly
BK. IV. G
Digitized by LjOOQIC
98 A HAIRBREADTH ESCAPE. [l796.
forward. Starvation now stared him in the face.
To the pangs of hunger were added the agony of
thirst. There was no water. The sun beat piti-
lessly down, the sand reflected the heat as from a
furnace. Night came. His horse grew too tired
to carry him any longer, but with his old strength
of will he staggered on in the darkness, often falling
from very weakness. Suddenly a flash of lightning
bespoke a coming storm. On his ear fell the wel-
come sound of trees bending before a wind. It put
new life into the fever-stricken explorer. But a
terrific sand-storm swept over the land, and he fell
down hopelessly under a sheltering bush. Then
followed great storm-clouds, and soon big drops of
rain began to fall, while lightning flashed and
thunder crashed above. The refreshing rain fell
on to his burning face and shaking hands, and saved
In the third week of his flight his reward came.
The prize for which men and nations had struggled
for three centuries was to be his. Let him tell his
own story. "Looking forward," he says, "I saw
with infinite pleasure the great object of my
mission — the long - sought - for, majestic Niger,
glittering in the morning sun, as broad as the
Thames at Westminster and flowing to the east-
ward. I hastened to the brink, and having drunk
of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks to the
great Ruler of all things for having thus far
crowned my endeavours with success."
1796.] REACHES THE NIGER. 99
He was the first European to reach the Niger,
and to tell the world that its course was " towards
the rising sun," and not as men had thought.
But his troubles were not ended here. The
natives would not allow him to enter their city
Sego on the Niger, and he wandered away to take
shelter from the sun under a tree. Hour after
hour passed away and no one offered him food or
lodging. The sun fell and a great storm gathered.
Suddenly a poor negro woman passed him returning
from her work. Seeing his pitiful condition she
stopped to ask his story. Bidding him follow her,
she took him in, broiled him a fish from the river,
and spread a mat for him to sleep upon. And
while he slept she sang with her companions of
this strange new guest : —
" The winds roared and the rains fell,
The poor white man sat under our tree ;
He has no mother to bring him milk,
No wife to grind his corn."
Far on into the night the women of Africa sang,
as they worked —
** Let us pity the white man, no mother has he."
Mungo Park could not get much farther. Fever
had reduced him to a mere skeleton, his one re-
maining shirt was threadbare. He made his way
slowly back to the coast and thence to England,
where he arrived after an absence of two years and
100 DEATH OF MUNGO PARK. [l805.
As the years passed on he longed to be back in
Africa. He felt much remained to be done, and
the early part of the new year 1805, found him
leaving England for the last time. It was May
before he left Pisania, this time with forty-four
Europeans and a large quantity of baggage. It
was August before he caught sight of the Niger,
by which time most of his companions were either
dead or dying. But his stout heart did not despair
as he embarked on his last great venture, *'with
fixed resolution to discover the source of the Niger
or perish in the attempt."
In a large, unwieldy, half- rotten canoe — chris-
tened His Majesty's schooner Joliba — he set sail
with nine men to navigate the strange new river,
studded with dangerous rocks, full of hippopotamus,
whose banks were lined with cannibal tribes. This
is the last sight we get of Mungo Park, gliding
down the Niger towards the heart of savage Africa,
into the deep darkness of the unknown. The rest
Years after, it was discovered that he had sailed
some thousand miles down the river, past Timbuktu
to Boussa. Here the boat was overturned by
rapids, and, at the last, attacked by natives. The
great Niger had claimed the brave explorer as
1769-1869.] ALEXANDER HUMBOLDT. 101
21. THE TRAVELS OF BARON HUMBOLDT.
" I am going, O my people,
On a long and distant journey ;
Many moons and many winters
Will have come and will have vanished.
Ere I come again to see you."
While Mungo Park was making his way into the
heart of Africa, another man was turning his
thoughts towards South America, the geography
of which was still very uncertain.
Baron Humboldt, whose discoveries were to
enrich the world, was born in 1769 — the same year
as Napoleon and Wellington — at Berlin, where his
father occupied a high position at the Court of the
King of Prussia. As a little boy, Humboldt was
taught by the man who had translated Robinson
Crusoe into German, and his mind was soon filled
with the spirit of adventure from reading the
new story-book. , But even the feats of Robinson
Crusoe grew small beside those of the boy's next
fi:iend — Forster. Forster had not been wrecked on
a desert island, but he had actually sailed round
the world with Captain Cook,^ and had written an
account of his adventures. His desire to travel
grew more and more intense as the years passed
on. His mind turned towards South America.
^ See Book IV. chapter 11.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
102 TO SOUTH AMERICA. [l799.
He read the chronicles of Balboa^ and Pizarro,^
and the grand old Spaniards of the sixteenth
century. He learnt mining and geology, then a
new science. He talked of his plans to Goethe
and Schiller, the world -famed poets. He went
to Paris to make known his great desire, and then,
leaving home and luxury and a life made pleasant
by many friends, he started for the unknown.
The spring of 1799 found him at Madrid, seeking
leave from the King of Spain to visit the Spanish
dominions in America. For at this time the main
part of South America still belonged to Spain by
reason of her conquests. The names of Columbus,
Vespucci, Cabral, Balboa, Pizarro, Raleigh, — all
rise before us in turn when we speak of South
American discovery, while in North America, Cortes
had gained Mexico for Spain.
Early in June 1799 Humboldt set sail from
Corunna on board the Pizarro. He was accom-
panied by a young Frenchman, Bonpland, a man
of science and a congenial companion. Slowly the
coast of Europe faded from sight. They would
not see it again for. five years. Twelve days' sail-
ing brought them to the Canary Islands, where
they landed for Humboldt to go up the Peak of
Tenerife, a volcano which had recently been very
active. They sailed on over the southern seas,
deeply impressed with the beauty of the southern
skies. As they neared the equator, star after star
* See Book II. chapter 42. 2 gee Book II. chapter 51.
1799.] AT VENEZUELA. 103
they had known from childhood sank lower and
lower, until apparently lost in the sea. The whole
heaven seemed to change, until they hailed with
delight the Southern Cross, or the four stars that
form, roughly, a cross in the southern hemisphere.
Forty-one days after leaving Corunna they saw
the coast of South America, and landed at Cumana,
on the north coast of Venezuela. It was their first
sight of the tropics. The deep silence, the brilliant
colours, the gigantic trees, the strange birds, all im-
pressed them deeply. Humboldt wrote down all
his observations, and when he reached home again
he gave them to the world, which was soon ringing
with his fame. He studied everything : the stars
in the heavens, the earthquakes which shook the
earth; flowers, animals, shells, trees, the weather
and temperature. His eyes and ears were ever
open to take in all that Nature could tell him of
her great and mysterious secrets. He rejoiced in
the beautiful plains and valleys of Venezuela,
watered by the vast Orinoco, and soon started ofi*
on an expedition into the very heart of things. In
a large native canoe he sailed up the river with
his friend. In a cabin made of palm -leaves, a
table was made for him of ox-hides strained over
a frame of Brazil-wood at one end of the boat,
where he could sit and write. Many were the
stories he told on his return. It was a voyage of
peril and wild adventure for the two white men
making their way into unknown regions. Never
104 EXPLORATION INLAND. [I8OI.
had they seen nature so wild and grand. Gigantic
trees and tropical forests, grassy plains and vast
rolling rivers abounded.
"The crocodile and boa rule the rivers; the
jackal and other wild beasts rove here without
fear or danger through the forests," says Humboldt.
Often he found immense tracts of country unin-
habited by any human beings. Once he came upon
a tribe of natives who made a practice of fattening
and eating their wives. One of the deepest im-
pressions was made by the huge cataracts on the
Orinoco, at which he and Bonpland stood and gazed
in awe. Never before had they seen such masses
of foaming waters or such colossal black rocks rising
from their surface.
After a journey of seventy-five days, during which
they travelled no less than 375 miles, they returned
to Guiana. They had sailed on five great rivers,
they had discovered the union of the Orinoco and
Amazon, the. largest river in the world, and they
made new maps of this hitherto unexplored region.
It is impossible to follow their wanderings, but
their ascent of Chimborazo is interesting. At this
time it was supposed to be the highest mountain
in the world, but it was scaled by an Englishman,
Whymper, in 1880, and it is now known that
Mount Everest in the Himalayas is much higher.
January 1802 found the travellers at Quito, one
of the most charming cities in South America. It
stands among gigantic mountains and almost under
1802.] ASCENT OF CHIMBORAZO. 105
the shadow of Cotopaxi, the highest volcano in the
world. It is the capital of Ecuador (Equator).
Humboldt, with two friends — a Frenchman and a
Spaniard — arrived one fine day at the foot of
Chimborazo, and they began the ascent on mules.
They went steadily upwards till they reached a
lake, which was already higher than the highest
mountain in the Alps. Already they had attained
the highest spot yet reached by human foot. The
mules could go no farther, so the travellers went
on on foot. Over fields of newly-fallen snow, they
gained a narrow ridge which led to the top. The
path grew very steep and slippery, and their guides
refused to go farther. Nothing daunted, the
travellers went on. A thick mist now surrounded
them. Their path was but ten inches broad. On
one side was a chasm a thousand feet deep, on the
other was a steep slope of snow covered with a
glassy coat of ice. One false step meant certain
death. Soon they had to crawl on hands and
knees, but their courage was high, and they went
The fog grew thicker : they suffered from the
rarity of the air. Breathing was difficult, and
mountain sickness came on. Their heads swam,
their lips bled, their eyes grew bloodshot. Sud-
denly the fog lifted, and they saw the summit.
They hurried forward, filled with a great hope,
when right across the ridge they saw a huge chasm
which it was impossible to cross. By this time
106 MONARCH OF SCIENCE. [l802.
they were nearly frozen with cold. A great snow-
storm broke over the top, and they were forced
to turn back without having reached the summit.
But they had reached a height of 19,200 feet above
the sea, an altitude since surpassed, but never
attained by man till that June day in 1802 by
Humboldt and his two faithful friends.
It would take too long to tell how they crossed
the lofty chain of the Andes and explored Peru ;
how they reached Lima, with its beautiful cathedral
where Pizarro,^ its founder, lies buried; how they
sailed north to Mexico, and finally, after an absence
of five years, returned safely to Europe.
He went many another joiuney after this, and
earned for himself the name of the "Monarch of
Science," the "Father of Physical Geography."
He outlived his contemporaries Napoleon and Well-
ington by many long years. Long after the " Great
Captain " had done his wars and the "Great Despot"
had suffered for his ambition, the "Monarch of
Science " was winning his victories in a quiet way
that cost no tears to others, but enlarged the
boundaries of the world of thought beyond all
^ See Book 11. chapter 51.
1796.] FRANCE AFTER THE REVOLUTION. 107
22. THE BEGINNING OP THE STRUG^QLB.
"Admirals all for England's sake,
Honour be yours ; and fame
And honour, as long as waves shall break,
To Nelson's peerless name."
— H. Newbolt.
Let us turn again to Napoleon and Nelson, now
ready to begin their conflict.
It has been said that nothing in the history of
the world is quite so wonderful as the history of
Napoleon, with its monstrous triumphs and its
tragic fall, — nothing is more wonderful than the
history of France immediately after the Revolu-
tion. Her success in the wars that followed was
immense, until, in the year 1796, she had won
over as her friends Spain and Holland, though
England and Austria were still her enemies. Now
Austria ruled over a great part of Northern Italy,
and it was against her that Napoleon was first
sent in the spring of this year.
" Soldiers, you are half starved and half naked,"
said the young commander to his troops. "I will
lead you into the most fertile valleys of the world :
there you will find glory and riches."
His success in North Italy astonished not only
France but Europe. The "Little Corporal," as
his soldiers called him, fought eighteen pitched
battles and won them all, till in little over a
108 VICTORY OF CAPE ST VINCENT. [l797.
year he had made himself master of Italy and
changed the face of Europe. He returned to Paris
amid boundless enthusiasm. He had conquered
the Austrians, but the English were still for-
** Go ! " cried one of the Directors of France,
clasping Napoleon to him, — " Go, capture the giant
corsair that infests the seas."
Let us turn for a moment to the " giant corsair/'
and understand the danger of its strength to
France. This very year the English had gained
two great naval victories over the allies of France
— Spain and Holland.
The first was fought off Cape St Vincent, where
a Spanish fleet of twenty-seven ships was waiting
to join two French fleets, when 100 sail would
sweep proudly over the seas to invade the British
Isles. Sir John Jervis, the English admiral, was
cruising off Cape St Vincent, a headland on the
coast of Portugal, to prevent the union of the
fleets. Nelson was in command of one of his ships
— the Captain. ''The fate of England hung on
the part he was about to play."
It was but daybreak on the morning of February
4, when a hazy dawn suddenly lifted, disclosing to
the English admiral the Spanish |[eet not far
away. Huge ships loomed large out of the fog.
Jervis signalled to prepare for battle.
" There are eight ships, Sir John," they reported
to him, as one by one they appeared.
1797.] nelson's genius. 109
"There are twenty ships, Sh* John," they re-
"Very well," was the undaunted answer.
"There are twenty-seven ships, Sir John/' was
the next report, "and we are but fifteen."
"Enough — no more of that. The die is cast,
and if there were fifty sail I would go through
The battle soon began. It would take too long
to tell how Nelson was the moving spirit of it all,
— how, with the genius of a great commander, he
alone read the purpose of the Spanish admiral, and
how he took the one step that saved England.
" Victory or Westminster Abbey ! " he had cried,
as with fiery zeal he had climbed the bulwarks
of a huge Spanish vessel.
So the Spaniards were beaten, and the proposed
invasion of Great Britain did not come off this time.
But there was danger of invasion from another
of those allies who had recently made their peace
with France. The Dutch navy was still renowned :
it would help France to defeat England on the
All through the spring of this year — 1797 — a
splendid Dutch fleet had been lying in the Texel,
ready to take French troops to the invasion of
For five long months Admiral Duncan, of the
British fleet, had blockaded the enemy's ships at
the mouth of the Texel. But mutiny broke out
110 ADMIRAL DUNCAN. [l797.
amid English sailors, and one day nearly all his
ships spread their sails and disappeared away to
England to join the other mutineers. Admiral
Duncan now did one of the pluckiest deeds ever
chronicled in the annals of the sea.
" Keep the Texel closed ! " — these were his orders.
He would not fail in obedience. He knew there
were some ninety-five ships in the Texel, thirty-
three being battleships. Mustering his crew, he
told the men that he meant to do his duty till
the ship sank. They were in shallow water, and
even when they were at the bottom, the flag of
England would still fly above them.
'' ' IVe taken the depth to a fathom ! ' he cried,
' And I'll sink with a right good will ;
For I know when we're all of us under the tide
My flag will be fluttering etilL' "
So he anchored his ship at the mouth of the
Texel, where the channel was very narrow, and
there for th^ days and nights he "corked up
the bottle which held the Dutch fleet." It was
a moment of peril — one of the gravest perils of
the whole war — when stout-hearted Admiral Duncan
represented the sea power of England. In order
to deceive the Dutch captains, he kept gallantly
signalling to an imaginary fleet beyond the sky-
line. The long hours of loneliness and anxiety
passed, and the Dutchmen, cooped up in the
river mouth, little dreamt that they were being
1797.] VICTORY OF OAMPERDOWN. Ill
held in check by a " deserted admiral upon a
When at last the Dutch ships emerged, Duncan's
danger was over. His faithless vessels had returned
to him, and he was only waiting his chance to
fight the fleet of Holland. The two fleets met at
last ofl* the coast, on the morning of October 11.
It was a squally day, and the ships rolled heavily
in the dark waters of the North Sea, where the
English and Dutch fleets strove for the mastery.
The Dutch fleet was one of the finest that ever put
to sea, and the men fought with a stubborn courage
worthy of their old fame. It was not till their
ships were riddled with shot, their masts falling,
and their sailors dying by hundreds, that the Dutch
admiral, De Winter, was obliged to surrender to
the English. The victory assured, old Admiral
Duncan — for he was sixty-six — called his crew
on deck, and with faces still black with powder,
they knelt on the "shot- torn planks" to thank
God for their success.
So the crushing victory of Camperdown consoled
"one of the bravest of the brave for an agony
unrivalled in the story of the sea."
Admiral Duncan had broken the naval strength
of Holland. No more need England fear her
power by sea.
112 NAPOLEON TO EGYPT. [l798.
23. THE BATTLE OP THE NILE.
" O saviour of the silver-coasted isle !
O shaker of the Baltic and the Nile 1 "
'*Let us destroy England!" exclaimed Napoleon
impatiently; "that done, Europe is at our feet."
It was evident, after the victories of Cape St
Vincent and Camperdown, that England was too
strong to be encountered by sea again. But
Napoleon had gigantic schemes of his own. He
would attack England in distant India, he would
restore to France the great kingdom of the East.
English troops were now in possession of the Cape
of Good Hope, therefore Napoleon planned the route
through Egypt to India. The shadowy East ap-
pealed to the strong imagination of the young
" Europe is but a molehill," he said ; "all the
great glories have come from Asia."
Very quietly he now set to work preparing for
his conquest of Egypt. England must know nothing
of it. In the summer of 1798 all was ready, and
one May morning, the sun rose on the white sails of
the French transports, as they left Toulon.
" In the name of Liberty I am come to lead you
across mighty seas and into remote regions, where
your valour may win such glory and such wealth as
can never be looked for beneath the cold heavens of
1798.] BATTLE OF THE PYRAMIDS. 113
the west," said Napoleon to his soldiers at starting.
No expedition so vast and formidable in strength
had ever set sail from the French coast before as
that, which now swept proudly down the Medi-
terranean Sea, while England guarded her own
coasts for the invasion that never came.
The French fleet having captured Malta, arrived
off Alexandria on July 1, and the troops disembarked
in a violent gale, their boats being nearly swamped
by the surf.
Alexandria fell without a struggle, and the army
set out for the long desert march to Cairo.
On the 21st Napoleon and his army came within
sight of the Pyramids,^ and found the enemy drawn
up to receive him.
" Soldiers," he cried, " forty centuries look down
upon you from the top of yonder pyramids."
The battle of the Pyramids was fought and won,
and the victorious French started back for the
Meanwhile it became known to England that the
French fleet was in the Mediterranean Sea, and
Nelson with an English fleet was despatched at
once in quest. After searching for some time, he
arrived off Alexandria on August 1 to find the long-
sought fleet riding at anchor in Aboukir Bay, some
fifteen miles from Alexandria; and the look-out
from the mast-head of the admiral's flagship beheld
the gleam of white sails in the afternoon sunshine
^ See Book I. chapter 2.
BK. IV. H
Digitized by VjOOQIC
114 IN ABOUKIR BAY. [l798.
with feelings akin to despair. The afternooii wore
on, and the French ships lay motionless on the
smooth waters of Aboukir Bay. None thought
that Nelson would dare attack them till morning. -
But they did not know the English admiral.
"Fear? I never saw fear. What is it?" he
had asked, when little more than a baby. He did
not know at the age of forty. He made up his
mind to attack at once. It was his first command,
and his first magnificent chance.
"If we succeed, what will the world say ? " said
one of his captains.
" There is no if in the case," replied Nelson ;
"that we shall succeed is certain. Who may live to
tell the story is another question."
Nelson had already lost one eye and his right
arm in battle, but he was undaunted. The order to
advance was given, and soon the gleaming sails of
the English ships were scudding over the afternoon
waters of the Mediterranean. They entered Abou-
kir Bay in grim silence. One by one the battle-
ships took up their positions between the French
ships and the coast, in such a way that two English
ships attacked one French ; and at half-past six, as
the sun was setting in the west, the battle began.
By seven o'clock black darkness had fallen over
land and sea ; but the flashing lights filled the
heavens, and the booming guns broke the silence of
the eastern night.
Early in the night Nelson was badly wounded in
1798.] BATTLE OF THE NILE. 115
the forehead — so badly that he cried, " I am killed.''
They carried him below. The surgeon was attend-
ing a poor sailor, who had been badly wounded.
When he saw Nelson being carried down, appar-
ently dying, he left the sailor and hurried to the
side of the admiral.
" No," murmured Nelson in his agony ; " I will
take my turn with my brave fellows."
Suddenly, in the middle of that savage night of
battle, the French flagship exploded. Flames in
great sheets shot up into the moonless sky, as from
a volcano. The water hissed, as blazing masses of
rigging and timber shot up only to fall into the
troubled bay. The French Admiral perished, and
a hush fell on every man in the two fleets. No gun
was fired, for all seemed paralysed with the awful
sight of that burning ship. Among those who
perished in the flagship was the ten-year-old Casa-
bianca, who refused to leave his post without his
father's leavef, and that father was already dead
'* The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled ;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Shone round him o'er the dead."
Morning dawned to find two French ships alone
unconquered, and these saved themselves by flight.
Thus ended the battle of the Nile, one of the most
important naval battles ever fought. For it put an *
end for the present to the naval power of France,
116 nelson's success. [1799.
and it gave to England absolute oommand of the
The news reached Napoleon on his desert marcL
"To France," he said with a sigh, "the Fates
have decreed the empire of the land ; to England,
the empire of the sea."
" We have no longer a fleet," he said later. "We
must either remain in this country, or quit it as
great as the ancients."
" Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown."
The news of Nelson's great victory spread over
Europe rapidly. The Italians were specially
pleased at Napoleon s defeat, since he had overrun
" Oh, brave Nelson ! '' cried the Queen of Naples,
a sister of Marie Antoinette, bursting into tears.
" God bless and protect our brave leader. Oh
Nelson, Nelson, what do we not owe you, — Victor,
saviour of Italy I "
England's navy had grown very formidable.
She had within a short time defeated the Spanish
fleet off Cape St Vincent, the Dutch fleet oflT
Camperdown, and the French fleet off the coast of
1801.] THE NORTHERN FLEET. 117
Africa. Three fleets had been destroyed, but the
great northern fleet yet remained. There was the
fleet of Eussia, begun by Peter the Great ^ a hun-
dred years before, the fleet of Sweden, and the
fleet of Denmark. And these three northern powers
now united, to destroy the growing strength of
England's sea power.
Brilliant leader though he was. Nelson was only
second in command on this expedition against the
northern fleets. His chief was Sir Hyde Parker, a
man who finally intrusted the command practically
to the hero of the Nile.
Nelson joined the fleet at Yarmouth in Norfolk,
England, in the autumn of 1800. He found the
admiral nervous at the prospect of "d^rk nights
and fields of ice."
"I hope," said Nelson, "we shall give our
northern enemies that hailstorm of bullets, which
gives our dear country the dominion of the seas.
We have it ; and all the devils of the north cannot
take it from us if our wooden walls have fair play."
So eighteen great battleships fought their way
across the stormy North Sea to Denmark. Their
orders were to negotiate, if possible, rather than
fight ; so when they arrived at the northern point
of Denmark, known as the Skaw, they anchored,
and a messenger was sent forward to negotiate under
a flag of truce. The delay irritated Nelson sorely.
" I hate your pen-and-ink men," he said ; ** a
^ See Book III. chapter 48.
118 NELSON* AT COPENHAGEN. [I8OI.
fleet of British warships are the best negotiators
in Europe. While negotiations are going on, the
Dane should see our flag waving every time he lifts
But the eighteen battleships, with their tall
masts and huge wooden hulls, stood without the
Sound, and the northern powers decided to fight.
A rumour reached the admiral that the defences of
the Danes were very strong, and that Copenhagen,
one of the finest capitals in Europe, was literally
bristling with guns. His indecision was overruled
"They will grow stronger every day and every
hour," he cried. " On your decision depends
whether our country shall be degraded in the eyes
of Europe, or whether she shall rear her head
higher than ever."
The die was cast, and the fleet sailed on between
the coasts of Denmark and Sweden till the island
of Zealand was reached. There were two ways
round the island — one by the Sound and Copen-
hagen, the key to the Baltic, the other by the
Belt. Another discussion arose.
" Let it be by the Sound, by the Belt, or any
other way," cried Nelson impatiently; "but lose
not an hour."
The batteries at Elsinore fired on the ships, but
they swept proudly on through the Sound and
anchored near Copenhagen. Even Nelson was
astonished at the threatening appearance of the
1801.] BEFORE THE BATTLE. 119
enemy's preparations. The Danish ships bristled
with cannon, the entrance to the harbour was
protected by a chain, and batteries commanded the
entrance. It was suggested that the three northern
fleets would surely defeat the English at last.
" So much the better," said Nelson excitedly, as
he paced the deck of his ship ; " I wish there were
twice as many. The greater the number, the more
glorious the victory."
It was April 1, the night before the battle.
Nelson, who had been working hard all day, sat
down to dinner with a large party of his officers.
He was in the highest spirits.
"To-morrow," he had just written home, "will, I
hope, be a proud day for England."
He slept little all night, receiving reports of the
wind from hour to hour.
When morning dawned it was fair. Every plan
was made for the attack.
It was just ten o'clock when the
. " Sign of battle flew
O'er the lofty British line :
There was silence deep as death ;
And the boldest held his breath
For a time."
Slowly towards the Danish ships, drawn up in
line of battle outside Copenhagen, came on the
English, until the thimder of guns rolled from end
to end of the battle-line. It was a narrow channel.
120 BATTLE OF COPENHAGEN. [I8OI.
and shallow, and the first English ships ran aground,
throwing out all Nelson's plans.
For three hours the fighting continued : the
admiral watched with anxiety the growing danger
of Nelson's position. The Danes, old sea-rovers as
they were, fought with a spendid courage, and,
fearing for hiis fleet, the admiral ran up a signal to
" Cease action ! "
Meanwhile Nelson was pacijig his quarter-deck
in great excitement.
"It is warm work," he said. "This day may
be the last to any of us at any moment. But,
mark you," he added with feeling, " I would not
be elsewhere for thousands."
Then suddenly from the mast-bead of the flag-
ship, flew the admiral's signal. Nelson did not see
it. They told him of it.
"Cease action?" he cried, as if he could not
understand. *'Fly from the enemy? Never!
Then turning to one of his officers, he said
bitterly, "You know I have only one eye. I have
a right to be blind sometimes." With these words
he put the telescope to his blind eye, exclaiming
with some humour, " I really do not see the signal ! "
"Keep my signal flying for closer battle. Nail
it to the mast ! " he said with emphasis. And the
battle raged on fiercely. By two o'clock the Danish
fire grew less, and as the smoke cleared away the
Danish flagship was seen drifting in flames before
1801.] DESTRUCTION OF THE DANISH FLEET. 121
the wind, with her miserable crew throwing them-
selves overboard from every port-hole. The battle
was practically over, and again Nelson had won the
victory. Under a flag of truce he sent a messenger
ashore with terms addressed to "The brothers of
Englishmen — the Danes."
"Out spoke the victor then,
As he haird them o'er the wave :
* Ye are brothers I we are men !
And we conquer but to save ; —
So peace instead of death let us bring :
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
Wjth the crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our king/"
*' I have been in one hundred and five engage-
ments," said Nelson ; "but this is the most terrible
So the Danish fleet was destroyed, and Nelson
returned to England the victor of Copenhagen.
25. NAPOLEON, EMPEROR OP THE FRENCH
" Who, born no king, made millions draw his car ;
Whose game was empires and whose stakes were thrones ;
Whose table, earth ; whose dice were human tones."
The dreams of Napoleon, with regard to India,
vanished in the thunder and smoke of the battle
of the Nile.
122 NAPOLEON BACK IN PARIS. [l799.
*' If it had not been for you English/' he said,
"I should have been Emperor of the East."
A year later, after varied success in Egypt and
Syria, he made up his mind to return to France,
though the great army must be left behind for the
present. One dark night, he embarked in a small
ship that had been secretly built, and sailed away
along the coast of Africa to Tunis. His voyage
was one of great peril, for English ships were
patrolling up and down the Mediterranean, and
would gladly have fallen in with Napoleon. With
all lights out and under cover of the night, the
little ship safely accomplished the narrow channel
between Sicily and the African coast, and Napoleon
reached his old home in Corsica safely.
On October 16, 1799, the citizens of Paris were
astounded by the news, that Napoleon was actually
among them again. What if he had left them
but a year ago, with a magnificent fleet and an
army of picked soldiers ? He returned alone, but
at a time when France stood in need of a strong
His arrival inspired all with joy. Men had grown
dissatisfied with their Directory.^ They were ready
for a change. Napoleon was at once given command
of all the troops in Paris ; and, with his military
force to support him, he dissolved the Directory
and formed a new Government, in which he himself
took the highest place. In imitation of the Romans
1 See Book IV. chapter 17.
1801.] NAPOLEON CROSSES THE ALPS. 123
of old, he took the title of Consul. He at once
went to live at the palace of the Tuileries. Not
a single member of the royal family was left
in France, for the little dauphin had died five
years before of ill-treatment, and his sister was
It is curious to remember, that one of Kapoleon's
first orders as Consul, was to command the French
soldiers to wrap their banners in crape, for the
death of George Washington ^ in America, for " he
was a great man," he said, "who fought against
The next object of the Consul, was to reconquer
Italy, which had been won back by Austria, during
his absence in Egypt. He collected a large force,
and, taking command himself, set out as secretly
as possible. He knew the Austrians to be encamped
in a valley at the foot of Mount St Bernard, a
part of the Alps supposed to be impassable.
This famous expedition across the Alps, was one
of Napoleon's greatest exploits, and for danger
and daring exceeded anything, that had been at-
tempted since the days of Hannibal.^ With
astonishing courage, the French soldiers struggled
up the steep and slippery mountain, covered with
eternal frost and snow. There was no path.
Gallantly they dragged up the cannon, baggage,
knapsacks, guns, leading their horses and mules.
Amid precipices and glaciers they made their way,
1 See Book IV. chapter 10. ^ g^e Book I. chapter 46.
124 XAPOUBOX, EMPEROR OF FRAKCE. [1804-
across chasm and along airy ridges of rock. And
Napoleon himself, dressed in the grey overcoat
which had become already famous, cheered on his
men, inspiring them with that confidence which
had won him so many victories. After seven days
incessant toil they arrived at the end of their goal,
and the victory of Marengo repaid them for their
Two months later Napoleon was back in Paris.
" We have done with the romance of the Revolu-
tion : we must now begin its history," he said on
his return to France.
He was indeed to open that history with an event
that affected the whole world, when, in 1804, he
was crowned Emperor of France.
Nothing could exceed the magnificence of the
ceremony. Napoleon himself was dressed in a
French coat of red velvet, embroidered in gold, his
collar gleaming with diamonds, over which he
wore the long purple robe of velvet and ermine,
with a wreath of laurel on his head. His wife,
now the Empress Josephine, in white satin glitter-
ing with diamonds, was beside him. The Pope
had been fetched from Rome to perform the service;
but as he was about to crown the Emperor, he was
gently waved aside, and Napoleon, with his own
hands, crowned himself.
He was more than ever bent now on the conquest
of England, and all the forces of his vast empire
were brought against her. Great Britain was the
1804.] ATTEMPTED INVASION OF ENGLAND. 125
one "barrier in the path of his ambition." His
plan of invasion was very formidable. He con-
structed a huge camp at Boulogne. In the port
he had 1000 ships built, each to carry 100 soldiers
and some guns across the Channel to the coast
" Let us be masters of the Straits for six hours/'
said Napoleon, " and we shall be masters of the
So sure was he of success, that he actually had
a medal struck of Hercules crushing the sea-monster
to commemorate the victory that was never won.
There were French fleets in the harbours of Toulon
and Brest waiting to help, as well as Spanish ships
in the harbour of Cadiz. But for the present these
were all closely blockaded by English admirals.
There is nothing finer in the naval history of
England, than the dogged perseverance with which
these dauntless men kept watch. For two years
Nelson guarded Toulon, for three years Cornwallis
watched the French ships in the harbour of Brest,
while CoUingwood blockaded a port in the north
of Spain. It was these "iron blockades" that
thwarted the plans of Napoleon, and saved for
England " the realm of the circling sea."
It was not till June 1805, that a general move
took place. The French fleet escaped from Toulon,
joined the Spaniards at Cadiz, and sailed for the
West Indies. Nelson, with ten ships, went off in
full pursuit, only to learn on arrival that the
126 MEETING OF THE FLEETS. [l805.
French admiral Villeneuve had doubled back
towards England. There was no time to lose.
"The fleets of England are equal to meet the
world in arms," Nelson said confidently. His words
were to prove true when, in October, the fleets met
in the last great sea-fight off Trafalgar, which was
to decide England's supremacy at sea.
26. THE BATTLE OP TRAFALGAR,
" England expects every man to do bis duty."
The morning of October 21 dawned. It was one
of the most important days in the history of the
world, for on it, England won her greatest naval
victory, and lost her greatest sailor, Lord Nelson.
The sun never rose on a grander scene. Thirty-
three French and Spanish ships stretched in a long
line covering five miles of sea, off the coast of Spain
between Cadiz and Gibraltar. In the distance be-
hind them, Cape Trafalgar was dimly visible in the
brightening light against the eastern sky. Tower-
ing among the Spanish ships, was the Santissima
Trinidad, with her 130 guns, the largest warship
afloat, a gleaming mass of red and white. She had
escaped the British at Cape St Vincent; she was
not going to escape them again. The French and
Spanish flagships were there in the midst, Ville-
neuve being in command of the whole.
Nelson before Trafalgar.
128 NELSON BEFORE TRAFALGAR. * [l805.
The sea was very calm, the lightest of breezes
ruffled its surface from time to time, while a long
Atlantic swell rolled at intervals towards the
Some ten miles away was the British fleet,
numbering twenty -seven ships. It lay in two,
long columns. At the head of one was Admiral
CoUingwood on board the Royal Sovereign ; at the
head of the other was Lord Nelson, the hero of the
Nile and Copenhagen, on board the Victory. He
had come on deck soon after daybreak, — a " homely
figure, slender, stooping, boyish — boyish still in
spite of so many battle scars, with the careless
hair lying low on his forehead." The empty sleeve
of his right arm, his sightless eye, the weather-
stained uniform, the orders shining on his breast —
all spoke of faithful service to his country. To-day
he was to complete that faithful service, by the
surrender of his life.
Afraid lest the glitter of his medals should make
him too great a mark for his foes, it was suggested
to him to remove them.
"In honour I gained them," was the proud
answer; "in honour I will die with them."
His plans for the battle had been made long ago.
All through the moonless night, his signals had been
flashing across the dark waters. He knew the
position of the enemy's fleet. The order for sailing
had been given, and the decks were being cleared
for action^ when Nelson withdrew to his cabin.
1805.] THE FAMOUS SIGNAL. 129
There he was found a little later on his knees,
writing, and this is what he wrote : " May the
great God whom I worship, grant to my country,
and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great
and glorious victory ; and may no misconduct in
any one tarnish it ; and may humanity after victory
be the predominant feature in the British fleet.
For myself, I commit my life to Him who made me,
and may His blessing light upon my endeavours for
serving my country faithfully. To Him I resign
myself and the just cause which is intrusted to me
to defend. Amen. Amen. Amen."
The British fleet was heading direct for the foe
when Nelson next came on deck. It was about
half-past eleven, when flags from the mast-head of
the Victory, spelt out to the slowly moving ships
Nelson's famous signal — "England expects every
man to do his duty." It is said that a shout of
approval greeted the admiral's message.
" I can do no more," said Nelson. " I thank God
for this great opportunity of doing my duty."
On sailed the British ships in two lines, a mile
apart, led by Nelson and CoUingwood. They were
sailing at right angles to the enemy's line, intend-
ing to cut it in two at two points. Nelson's old
plan, of arranging for two English ships to attack
one French, was at work. The French and Spanish
flagships were in the middle of the line, and against
them Nelson and Collingwood directed their course.
It was just after noon when a very tempest of
BK. IV. I
Digitized by VjOOQIC •
130 THE BATTLE BEGINS. [l805.
shot was poured on to the Victory from eight great
battleships around her. Nelson was pacing the
deck, with his old friend and comrade Captain
Hardy. Suddenly a shot passed between them.
Both men started and looked at one another.
"This is too warm work to last long, Hardy,"
he said, smiling.
The Victory moved on amid tremendous fire.
Her sails were riddled with shot, her topmast was
falling ; but still her guns were silent till, suddenly,
she discharged at the French flagship a deafening
crash of cannon-balls, which struck down 400 of her
men and put twenty guns out of action at once.
Moving on her way with dignity, she next attacked
a French ship, the Redoubtable. Fiercely raged the
battle now along the line. Fiercely fought French
and Spanish, none more bravely than the Redoubt-
able herself Nothing could exceed the valour of
the French on board the little ship, now fighting
for her life between the Victory and the Temeraire.
With half her masts gone, her hull shot through
and through, twenty of her guns out of action and
more than half her crew dead or dying, she fought
on, with a heroism worthy of victory. It was a
shot from her, that killed England's greatest
He was pacing the deck with Hardy, when quite
suddenly he fell, mortally wounded, with his face
to the deck.
'*They have done for me at last, Hardy," he
THE ATTACK AT TRAFALGAR
Fiue minntea past noon.
• BHtl8h ^ 27^
o French '8 i «,
m Spanish 76*
The "Africa" 64, took a course too far to the north,
and joined In the attach later In the day.
The French and Spanish ships marked m were taken or destroyed
in the action.
I.Santa Ana. Aiava's Flag Ship
2.Bucentaure. Vii/eneuue's Flag Ship
J. Principe de Asturias. Grauma'a Flag Ship
S Royal Sovereign. CoHingivood'a Flag Ship
7. Victory. Nelson* s Flag Ship
From * Deeds that Won the Empire,' '''*''^''' <>^*«^-''^'-
by permission of Messrs Smith, Elder, & Co.
132 NELSON WOUNDED. [l805.
exclaimed, as the captain picked him up. '*My
backbone is shot through."
It was true. The shadow of death had been over
him all day.
** God bless you, Blackwood," he had said to one
of his officers, before the action began ; "I shall
never speak to you again."
They carried the wounded man below. Bravely
he covered his face and medals with a handkerchief,
that his sailors might not recognise him.
Few stories in history are more pathetic, than
this one of the death of Nelson, in the hour of
victory. Faithfully every word that fell from the
lips of the dying man, have been recorded, until
every child now knows the details of those last
27. THE DEATH OP NELSON.
" Heard ye the thunder of battle
Low in the South and afar ?
Saw ye the flash of the death-cloud
Crimson on Trafalgar ?
Such another day, never
England will look on again,
Where the battle fought was the hottest
And the hero of heroes was slain."
— Palgeave (Trafalgar).
While the thunder of battle roared above, they
laid Nelson tenderly on a bed, in the dimly lit cabin
below ; men lay around, dead and dying.
1805.] THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR. 133
"You can do nothing for me," he said to the
surgeon who bent anxiously over him ; "I have
but a short time to live."
He was right : the wound was mortal. Nothing
could save the precious life, now ebbing away only
'' Pray for me, doctor," whispered Nelson, as the
agony of pain threatened to unman him.
Still the battle raged on above. At every cheer
that told of victory, a smile passed over the face
of the dying man. At last the news came down,
that the enemy was all but defeated, and hope was
expressed that Nelson would yet live, to bear the
grand tidings home to England.
"It is all over : it is all over," was his sorrowful
He longed to see Captain Hardy, who was busy
" Will no one bring Hardy to me ? " he repeated.
" He must be killed."
" Oh Victory, Victory," he murmured once as the
ship shook to the roar of her guns, " how you dis-
tract my poor brain."
At last Hardy snatched a few moments to visit
his dying friend. Nelson grasped his hand.
" Well, Hardy, how goes the battle ? How goes
the day with us ? " he cried.
" Very well, my lord," was the reply ; " we have
got twelve or fourteen of the enemy's ships in our
134 NELSON AND HARDY. [l805.
"I am a dead man, Hardy," he said presently.
" I am going fast ; it will soon be all over with
Hardy bent over his dying friend, then grasped
him by the hand, and hurried back to his post on
the deck with a bursting heart.
''' One would like to live a little longer," Nelson
said to the doctor when Hardy had gone.
"My lord," was the heart-broken answer, "un-
happily for our country, nothing can be done for
you." And he turned away to hide his falling
Another agonised hour passed away. It was
four o'clock, when Hardy returned again to the
cabin, where Nelson still lay. Grasping his hand,
he now announced that the victory was almost com-
plete. Some fifteen ships had been taken.
" That is well," said Nelson ; " but I had bar-
gained for twenty."
Then as he planned out the end of the battle,
arose a picture of a rising gale, and the battered
British fleet perhaps drifting ashore with its prizes.
" Anchor, Hardy, anchor," he said eagerly.
" I suppose, my lord. Admiral Colling wood will
now take upon himself the direction of afiairs," said
" Not while I live. Hardy, I hope," cried Nelson,
struggling to raise himself in bed. " No ; do you
" Shall we make the signal, sir ? "
1805.] VICTORY OF TRAFALGAR. 135
"Yes; for if I live I'll anchor," was the firm
These were his last commands.
" Kiss me, Hardy," he whispered presently.
Reverently the captain knelt and kissed his
" Now I am satisfied," murmured Nelson. "Thank
God, I have done my duty."
Hardy had risen. He now stood looking silently
at the dying Admiral. Suddenly he knelt down
and kissed him again.
" Who is that ? " asked Nelson.
" It is Hardy," answered his friend.
" God bless you, Hardy," murmured the dying
And Hardy then left him — for ever.
About half- past four — three hours after his
wound — Nelson died. Before sunset all firing had
ceased. The battle of Trafalgar was over.
The news of the two events was received in
England with mingled joy and sorrow. " God gave
us'the victory — but Nelson died," said the people.
Nearly a hundred years have passed away since
the famous victory of Trafalgar, when Lord Nelson,
Admiral of the British Fleet, was killed. But
England's fleet is still her all-in-all; her realm is
still the realm of the encircling sea ; and the famous
isigaal, "England expects every man to do his
duty," rings in her aars to-day.
136 NAPOLEON THWARTED. flSOS.
28. A SECOND CHARLEMAGNE.
" When Europe crouched to France's yoke,
And Austria bent and Prussia broke."
When the news of Trafalgar reached Napoleon, he
had already given up the camp at Boulogne. The
thousand ships in the harbour lay forgotten, the
relics of a dismal failure. When Villeneuve, after
giving Nelson a chase to the West Indies, had
made for Cadiz instead of the coast of England,
Napoleon's anger had burst forth.
"That Villeneuve," he had cried, choking with
rage as he strode up and down his room, " is not fit
to command a frigate. What a navy ! What an
admiral ! "
His dreams of invading England by means of
India, had vanished in the smoke and thunder of
Aboukir Bay. His dreams of invading England
herself, disappeared in the roar of the guns at
But already his active brain was working on an
alternate scheme, for bringing that proud nation to
his feet. He could not conquer England, but he
would conquer Europe. If he could not enter
London, he would enter Vienna, the capital of
Austria ; Berlin, the capital of Prussia ; Moscow
the capital of Russia, — all of which countries were
at this time allied with England against France.
1805.] NAPOLEON IN AUSTRIA. 137
He would conquer these, and so ruin England's
trade in Europe ; close every port against her, and
so reduce her to submission. England was the
mistress of the seas, but Napoleon would be master
of the land.
In September of 1805 he left Paris for Germany.
Already thousands of his troops were silently
marching along a hundred roads from Boulogne to
the Black Forest, to prevent the union of the allies.
They were guided by the master-mind of Napoleon,
and they marched to certain victory.
Four days before the battle of Trafalgar, a large
Austrian army was compelled to surrender to the
French at Ulm, on the banks of the Danube. And
while Nelson was preparing for battle off Cape
Trafalgar, Napoleon was receiving the homage of
the vanquished Austrians, and sending off a waggon-
load of Austrian trophies to speak of victory to the
people at Paris. This cleared the way to Vienna,
which Napoleon entered as a conqueror on Nov-
Three weeks later Russians and Austrians fought
side by side at Austerlitz, a small town to the
north of Vienna.
" English gold has brought these Russians from
the ends of the earth," he told his soldiers. " In
twenty-four hours that army will be mine."
The sun rose brightly on December 3, the
morning of the battle. It shone on the faces of
73,000 Frenchmen, resolved to conquer or to die ;
138 VICTORY OF AUSTERLITZ. [l805.
it cast its shadows before the grey colours of the
Russians and the white coats of the Austrians, as
they pressed forward towards the frozen swamps of
the little river that flowed by the town. And the
"Sun of Austerlitz" passed into a proverb, as a
sure omen for victory. It was the anniversary of
Napoleon's coronation, too, and his soldiers cried
with enthusiasm, that they would celebrate it in a
manner worthy of its glory.
The day wore on, and the two Emperors —
Alexander of Bussia and Francis of Austria — beheld
from the heights of Austerlitz, the complete destruc-
tion of their armies. 21,000 Russians and 6000
Austrians lay dead or dying on the field, while guns
and banners fell into the hands of the victorious
Austerlitz completed, what Ulm had begun. The
union of Russia and Austria with England against
France, was undone. Undone, also, was the English
statesman who had planned the union. The news
of the defeat of Austerlitz killed William Pitt.
The brilliant son of a brilliant father, Pitt had
played a large part in his country during the French
Revolution and the rise of Napoleon to power.
'' It is not a chip of the old block, — it is the old
block itself," Burke had cried, when young Pitt had
made one of his first speeches in the English House
of Commons. He had loved England with all the
fierce devotion of his father, the Earl of Chatham.
He had refused to bow to the dictates of Napoleon^
1806.] DEATH OF PITT. 139
He had roused England to put forth her full
strength to withstand the world -conqueror. He
was "the pilot that weathered the storm." His
last hopes for England lay in the help of Russia
and Austria. Now that help was gone. He was
already worn out with work and anxiety ; the
hollow voice and wasted form had long told his
friends that death was not far off. But now the
news of Austerlitz killed him. He never recovered
from the blow. The terrible ** Austerlitz look," as
it has been called, never left his face again.
" Roll up that map," he said, his eyes falling on a
map of Europe that hung in the house ; " it will not
be wanted these ten years."
" My country ! How I leave my country," he
murmured, as he lay dying in the new year of 1806.
"England has saved herself by her exertions,
and will, I trust, save Europe by her example."
These famous words he left as a legacy to the
country which he had loved long and passionately.
And still the mighty shadow of Napoleon crept
on over the map of Europe. England had no
Nelson now to conquer on the seas, no Pitt to lift
up his voice in her council halls ; and the great
conqueror carried all before him. He had already
made the Emperor of Austria renounce for ever the
title of Roman Emperor, which had come down to
him through the long ages of the past. It had
been bestowed upon Charlemagne by the Pope
nearly a thousand years before. It was now can-
140 THE PEACE OF TILSIT. * [l807.
celled by a second Charlemagne, who ruled over an
empire yet greater than the hero of the Middle
Ages. The Pope was still sovereign of Rome, but
''I am the Emperor!" cried Napoleon. " I do not
intend the court of Rome to mix any longer in
questions of the world. I am Charlemagne — the
On October 14, 1806, the victory of Jena over
the Prussians laid North Germany at his feet. As
he had entered Vienna a year ago, so now he
entered Berlin — a conqueror. Marching on into
the heart of Poland, he now defeated the last foe
left him in Europe. The summer of 1807 found
him dictating peace to Alexander of Russia.
A famous meeting between the two Emperors
took place on a raft moored on the river Niemen,
*' I hate the English as much as you do," said
Alexander, as he embraced the conqueror Napoleon.
"If that is the case," answered Napoleon, "peace
By this peace of Tilsit, Russia, Austria, and
Prussia agreed with France, to close their ports
against British trade.
" England," cried Napoleon triumphantly, " sees
her merchandise repelled by all Europe, and her
ships, loaded with useless wealth, seek in vain a
port open to receive them."
Had he succeeded, the history of the world had
indeed been changed.
1769-1861.] DUKE OF WELLINGTON. 141
29. THE RISE OP WELLINGTON.
" This is he that far away
Against the myriads of Assaye
Clash'd with his fiery few and won."
For the moment it seemed as if the genius of
Napoleon would triumph over England herself.
But she was now to find herself armed against
him by one of her greatest soldiers, — none other
than the famous Duke of Wellington, — who should
make her almost as strong by land as Nelson had
made her at sea. The same year that Napoleon
was born in Corsica, a son was born to Wel-
lesley, Earl of Mornington, in Ireland. He was
called Arthur. Little enough is known of Arthur
"I vow to God," his mother exclaimed in the
strong language of the day, " I don't know what
I shall do with my awkward son Arthur."
At the age of eleven he was sent to school at
Eton, in England, where we get a glimpse of his
first fight. One of his boy friends was bathing
one day in the river Thames, when Arthur
Wellesley took up a clod and threw it at him
for fun. "If you do that again, I will get out
and thrash you," cried the bather angrily. To
tease him, the small boy Arthur threw another
and yet another. The bather then landed and
142 WELLESLEY ENTERS THE ARMY. [l787.
struck Wellesley. A sharp fight began, in which
the smaller boy, Wellesley, easily won.
At the age of twelve, he was taken to Brussels
by his mother. Here he learnt music, and little
else. He played well on the fiddle, but displayed
no other talent. In after years, when he was
in India, he used to amuse himself by playing
on the fiddle, till suddenly one day it occurred
to him, that it was not a very soldier-like calling,
and he threw his instrument into the fire.
His mother soon came to the conclusion that
her "ugly son Arthur" was "fit food for powder,
and nothing more." So he was sent to a military
school in France, where he studied at the same
time that Napoleon Bonaparte was training for a
soldier in the same country. On Christmas Day,
1787, Arthur Wellesley became a lieutenant in an
English infantry regiment. He was still a shy,
awkward lad, in whom no one saw anything
attractive. One night at a large ball, being un-
able to find a partner to dance with, he sat down
near the band to listen to the music. When the
party broke up and the other officers went home
after a gay and happy evening, young Wellesley
was left to. travel home with the fiddlers. When
in after years he became a great man, his hostess
said to him, laughing, *' We should not let you
go home with the fiddlers now ! "
When he was twenty-one, he got a seat in the
Irish Parliament, which then sat in Dublin.
1799.] SERINGAPATAM. 143
**Who is that young man in scarlet uniform
with large epaulettes ? " asked a visitor to the
Irish House of Commons.
"That is Captain Wellesley," was the reply.
"I suppose he never speaks."
"You are wrong," was the answer; "he does
speak. And when he does, it is always to the
Wellesley began his Indian career in 1797.
Matters in the East were once more in a critical
condition. Tippoo, Governor of Mysore, son of
Britain's old foe Hyder Ali, was in secret corre-
spondence with Napoleon for driving the English
out of India.
"I am coming to help you drive the English
out of the country," Napoleon had written to
Tippoo, as he started for Egypt on his way to
India. The battle of Aboukir Bay put an end
to that promise ; but Tippoo s attitude was very
threatening, and against him, young Wellesley
was now sent in command of troops. At Sering-
apatam, the capital of Mysore, Tippoo was defeated
and slain. Wellesley was made Commander of the
Forces in Mysore, with power over the whole
dominion of Mysore, till the little new five-year-old
Raja was older. For the next two years he
w^orked hard in Mysore, bringing the country
into order, until early in 1803 he was given com-
mand of a large number of troops, with orders
to march against one of the Rajas who was
144 BATTLE OF ASSAYE. [l803.
threatening the English frontiers. The rising
was assuming a very alarming size when Wellesley
encountered the enemy, strongly posted behind the
river Kaitna, near the village of Assaye. His
troops were tired with a long march, and the
meeting was unexpected. He must either fight
at once or retreat. He resolved to fight, though
the force against him numbered some 50,000 men
and 128 guns, as opposed to his 8000 men and 17
guns. It was a great decision. It was his first
great battle. The native guides assured him, that
it was impossible to cross the river; the banks
were steep and rocky, and there was no ford.
But Wellesley made up his mind to take the
riek. It was a breathless moment, when the
advance-guard reached the river. The Highlanders
plunged in, and suspense gave way to triumph, as
Wellesley saw them half across with the water
only waist high. Shot ploughed the water around
them, but bravely they reached the farther bank,
and a sharp conflict ensued. Wellesley himself
was in the thick of the action the whole time,
giving his orders as coolly as an experienced
veteran. His horse was shot under him, but he
mounted another and fought on. By evening
the enemy was in full retreat. Wellesley was
victorious on the field of Assaye. He had
crushed the rebellion, and secured to England
For this he received the thanks of Parliament
1805.] RETURN TO ENGLAND. 145
and a sword of honour from Calcutta, being also
made a knight — a great honour in those days, when
there were but twenty -four.
His brother was now Governor-General of India,
for which country a new era of prosperity had now
begun. In the course of seven years British power
was established all over India. But better than
this, the brothers Wellesley put an end to the
corrupt practices, that had ended the rule of Warren
Hastings so miserably. Under them a new rule of
honour and justice began for India, which is carried
on by England to-day.
Sir Arthur Wellesley now returned to England.
He had left home eight years before, a young
officer little known, less admired. He returned,
having won his spurs and earned for himself fame
and honour. He arrived just a month before
Nelson started to fight his last great sea-fight at
Trafalgar. For a few minutes only, the two men
met — young Wellesley on the threshold of a career,
which was to end in so much glory, and Lord
Nelson, whose famous career was so nearly drawing
to its close.
146 DUTCH AT THE CAPE.
30. AT THE CAPE OP GOOD HOPE.
" I hear the sound of pioneers,
Of nations yet to be.*'
The capture of the Cape of Good Hope was an
important result of the battles of Camperdown and
Trafalgar. The first of these destroyed the sea
power of Holland, the second secured it to England.
Slowly but surely the little colony founded by
Van Riebeek^ at the Cape had grown and pros-
pered. Let us take up its story from those early
For some time, the colonists had been content to
stay under the shadow of Table Mountain, but as
the years passed on, the younger colonists became
adventurous. Musket in hand, to drive back the
native Hottentots of the country, they began to
explore inland, until little settlements sprang up
in all directions. They were presently joined by
some 300 French Huguenots, who had been driven
from their country and taken refuge in Holland.
At first these people clung to their French language
and service of the French church, but soon the Dutch
forbade this, and they talked and worshipped with
their neighbours. Not long after their arrival, a
terrible outbreak of smallpox swept whole tribes of
Hottentots away, and the inland country was clear
1 See Book III. chapter 34.
1796.] ENGLISH CAPTCTRE THE CAPE. 147
for the European colonists. Farther and farther
inland now they spread, over the mountains to the
pasture land beyond. The grass was thin, and it
was necessary to graze the cattle over wide stretches
of ground. Thus they became more and more cut
off from the coast and from the far-off homes of
their ancestors. With their wives and children
they followed the cattle from spot to spot : their
children were untaught, their wives forgot the
neat and cleanly ways of their Dutch forefathers.
At last they reached the Great Fish River and
came in contact with the Kaffirs. These were the
natives, who occupied the lands from the Zambesi to
the Great Fish River. They consisted of a number
of tribes, constantly making war on each other, who
appear later under various names of Zulus, Swazis,
All the colonists fretted under the misrule of the
Dutch East India Company. They were worried
with petty laws and obliged to pay heavy taxes;
the farmers were told exactly what to grow, and
forced to give up much of their produce. The
company had broken faith with the natives, and
had imported a number of slaves into the colony,
which had no need of negro labour. When, there-
fore, in the year 1795 the news spread, that English
troops were in possession of Cape Town, the idea of
change was not wholly unwelcome. The English
came as friends of the Dutch, in their united struggle
against the French. The Prince of Orange was an
148 ENGLISH POSSESS THE CAPE. [1795-1802.
exile in England, and the English carried a letter
from him to the Dutch officials at the Cape.
Conquerors and conquered came of the same stock.
Of all the nations in Europe, the people of Holland
are closest to those of Great Britain. True, 1400
years of separation had altered the history of each,
but many points of resemblance were left. Both
were a liberty-loving people, both were Protestant,
both had Viking blood in their veins. Moreover, it
was as simple for the Dutchman to learn English, as
it was for the Englishman to learn Dutch. Here is
a quaint picture, of how the colonists from the sur-
rounding districts came into Cape Town, to take the
oath of allegiance to George III. of England.
Over the Dutch castle flew the English flag.
Within was the English governor. The gates stood
open. First came the Dutch officials, all dressed in
black, "well-fed, rosy-cheeked men with powdered
hair." They walked in pairs with their hats off
They were followed by the Boers or farmers, who
had come in from distant parts of the colony. They
were splendid men, head and shoulders above their
neighbours, and broad in proportion. They were
dressed in blue cloth jackets and trousers and tall
flat hats. Behind each, crept a black Hottentot
servant, carrying his master's umbrella. The
Hottentot was small : he wore a sheepskin round his
shoulders, and a hat trimmed with ostrich feathers.
For nearly eight years, the English ruled. Then
came another peace between France and England
1806.] CAPE SOLD TO ENGLAND. 149
after the battle of Copenhagen, by which the Cape
was given back to Holland, now subject to France.
The old Dutch East India Company had by this
time disappeared, for since the battle of Camper-
down, Holland had lost command of the sea. For
the next three years, the Cape was hers again.
Africa is a land of surprises : once more she was to
The Cape had been " swept into the whirlpool "
of the European conflict raging with Napoleon.
More than ever now, England felt the importance
of possessing the Cape as a naval stronghold, as a
half-way house to her ever-increasing dominions in
India. The power of the sea was now hers beyond
dispute. The victory of Trafalgar made all things
possible. So she sent an expedition to South
Africa. Early in the new year of 1806, sixty-
three English ships came sweeping into Table Bay.
But a gale was blowing, and the heavy surf rolling
in to the shore, made landing impossible for a time.
The Dutch prepared to defend Cape Town, but they
had not the means or the men. It was the height
of summer, and the Boers of the country could not
leave their farms. So the English took the Cape,
and once again the British flag flew from the top of
the castle ramparts.
A few years later the English occupation was
acknowledged, and Holland sold her rights for the
sum of £6,000,000.
The English governors were men of high char-
Digitized by VjOOQIC
150 AUSTRALIA COLONISED. [l788.
acter, and anxious for the welfare of the new
colony. Reforms were introduced, schools were
built, the slave-trade was forbidden, justice was
administered. The Dutch law was allowed to
remain as it was, and it is to-day the common
law of all the British colonies in South Africa.
It seemed as if an era of peace and prosperity
were about to begin, and there seemed no reason
why the history of the happy union of English and
Dutch at New York, in America, should not repeat
31. THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN COLONY.
" Look, I have made ye a place and opened wide the doors."
Beyond the Cape of Good Hope and across the
wide Pacific lay Australia, the Great South Land,
still occupied only by wandering native tribes.
But now, as men pored over the thrilling journals
of Captain Cook, they felt that " a new earth was
open in the Pacific for the expansion of the English
The independence of America, had made the
plantations no longer possible for English convict
settlements, so it was decided to use the new empty
continent-island, in the distant Pacific, for this pur-
pose. In the year 1788, the first fleet of eleven
ships anchored off Botany Bay, on the eastern coast
Digitized by VjOOQIC
1788.] GOVERNOR PHILLIPS. 151
of Australia, after eight months at sea. Some 800
convicts were on board under Governor Phillips.
The landing-place proved disappointing, and in
an open rowing-boat Phillips explored northwards.
Port Jackson fulfilled all requirements.
** Here," wrote the governor triumphantly home —
" Here we have the satisfaction of finding the finest
harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of
the line may ride in perfect safety."
In honour of Lord Sydney, Secretary of State in
England, he named the chosen spot Sydney, and
here to-day stands one of the most important towns
in Australia. Soon the British flag was waving
over the tents and huts of the settlers, and New
South Wales was declared British territory, from
Cape Howe, in the south, to Cape York, its most
"What Frobisher and Raleigh did for America,
we are to-day doing for Australia," cried the governor
with enthusiasm, to his little band of pioneers.
But, like other early settlements, this one was
doomed to suflfer. Misfortunes fell thick on the
little colony. A drought set in : the seeds did not
sprout. The cattle disappeared, the sheep died.
Store-ships from England were wrecked. And
still more and more convicts were sent out.
" We have not a shoe to our feet nor a shirt to
our backs," wrote the wretched colonists. Famine
stared them in the face.
Yet in the colony's darkest hour the governor
152 BASS AND FLINDERS. [l801.
never swerved from his opinion. '* This country," he
repeats, "will prove the most valuable acquisition
Great Britain ever made."
Cheerfully he shared the slender daily rations
with the convicts. But the time came, when even
they were nearly finished. Phillips watched in
vain for a friendly sail on the horizon. " At times,"
he says pathetically, " when the day was fast
setting and the shadows of the evening stretched
out, I have been deceived by some fantastic little
cloud resembling the sails of a ship."
At last it came. Men wrung each other's hands
with overflowing hearts, women kissed their children
with passionate tears of relief The colony was
saved. But the governor was broken down with
long anxiety, and had to return to England.
On board the new vessel bringing the new
governor, were two young men, thirsting for ad-
venture. Their names — Bass and Flinders — are
now famous in the annals of Australian discovery.
No sooner had they arrived, than they set forth in
a little boat only eight feet long, suitably called
the Tom Thumb. They followed the coast of New
South Wales for a considerable distance, making
clear much that was obscure. Then Bass got a
whale-boat and crew of six men, to proceed on a
more important voyage of discovery to the south.
It was successful beyond all expectation. He dis-
covered that Tasmania was an island, and the
channel that separates it from the mainland has
1803.] FLINDEBS CIRCUMNAVIGATES ACJSTRALIA. 153
since borne the name of Bass's Straits. He had
sailed 600 miles in his whale-boat through boister-
ous storms, and he returned to Sydney to find
himself a hero. His achievment ranked as one of
the boldest in the annals of navigation.
Soon after this, Flinders, in command of the
Investigator, sailed completely round the coast of
Australia. Starting from King George's Sound,
in the extreme south-west, he passed by the bleak
rocky heights of the Great Australian Bight, naming
bays and islands as he sailed. On the map to-day
we find ''Investigator Islands" and ''Investigator
Straits." There, too, is Cape Catastrophe, where
the ship's master was drowned, owing to the
capsizing of the boat in which he was landing.
Kangaroo Island was discovered by him, and so
called because it was a very " kangaroo paradise."
These quiet brown animals were so tame, that it
was easy enough to kill them, and the ship's crew
had a splendid feast after long privations on board.
Encounter Bay speaks of his meeting with French
ships, also exploring the coast of Australia ; and
Port Phillip, named after the first Australian
governor, was soon to become famous for the city
of Melbourne, which stands there to-day.
After a rest at Sydney the energetic Flinders
set forth again. He sailed round the northern
territory, which in 1863 was added to the province
of South Australia, and returned to Sydney after
another year's absence.
154 DEATH OF FLINDERS. [l814.
It would take too long to tell the adventures
that befell Flinders, on his way back to England :
how he set sail and was wrecked on the great coral
reef, which bars the north-east coast of New South
Wales ; how he found a small boat of twenty-nine
tons, in which he sailed safely across the ocean to
Mauritius, where he was taken prisoner by the
French, then in possession. For six years he lay
in captivity, till Trafalgar had been fought and won,
and Mauritius fell into English hands. Two more
tragedies ended his life. The French had already
published an account of Australian explorations,
and his own account was published the very day
So far most of the exploration of the great south
continent had been by sea. No white man had
ventured far inland. For some sixty miles inland,
running parallel to the east coast, rose the chain
of the Blue Mountains. With their jagged peaks
and bottomless chasms, they had so far proved an
impassable barrier to the interior. Even the daring
Bass had tried and failed. He had climbed preci-
pices with iron hooks fastened to his arms, and
descended into terrific caverns by means of ropes,
but he had not been able to accomplish the feat
of gaining the other side.
It now became a matter of extreme importance
to extend the boundaries of New South Wales
inland. Shipload after shipload of colonists had
sailed from the mother country, till more pasturage
1813.] ACROSS THE BLUE MOUNTAINS. 155
was required for the ever increasing flocks and
herds. At last three colonists started off, deter-
mined to force a way through the Blue Mountains.
Bound together by ropes and armed with axes, they
cut their way bravely through the virgin forests,
climbing as they went. Forward and upward they
fought their way, where no white man had pene-
trated before, past the spot, where Bass had failed,
till they discovered a range, along the ridge of
which they made their way. Arrived at the last
summit, they were rewarded by the magnificent
prospect, that now opened before them. They had
seen their promised land, and the three ragged
hungry pioneers made their way back to Sydney
with their joyful news. The discovery meant new
life to the colony, and two years later, just before
the battle of Waterloo, a road was triumphantly
opened across the Blue Mountains, to the famous
plains of Bathurst.
It was no wonder that Kendall, the poet of New
South Wales, broke into song over this famous
" The dauntless three. For twenty days and nights
These heroes battled with the haughty heights ;
For twenty spaces of the star and sun
These Eomans kept their harness buckled on ;
By gaping gorges, and by cliffs austere,
These fathers struggled in the great old year ;
Their feet they set on strange hills scarred by fire,
Their strong arms forced a path through brake and briar ;
They fought with Nature till they reached the throne
Where morning glittered on the Great Unknown."
Digitized by VjOOQIC
156 SLAVES AT THE CAPE. [l806.
32. STORY OP THE SLAVE-TRADE.
"When a deed is done for freedom, through the broad earth's
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west.
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of time."
When the English took over the Cape of Good
Hope from the Dutch, there were a larger number
of negro slaves there, than white men.
Let us take up the story of the slave-trade, and
see how Great Britain took the lead in stopping
this deplorable labour market, which she had been
among the first to start.
From the earliest times, there had been slaves.
Abraham had his slaves, the Greeks had slaves,
the Romans had slaves. They were prisoners of
war, kept as bondsmen by their conquerors, and thus
deprived of freedom. Thus, when the Romans con-
quered Britain, we get the well-known story of the
little British slaves, in the market-place at Rome.
One day the Bishop of Rome noted the fair faces,
white bodies, and golden hair of the small boys
who stood bound in the slave market, waiting to
*' From what country do these come ? " he asked
'' They are English — Angles," they told him.
SLA^^ERY IN THE PAST. 167
"Not Angles, but Angels," commented the
bishop, "with faces so angel-like."
" What is the name of their king ? " he asked.
'*-^lla," was the answer.
** Alleluia shall be sung in -Ella's land," he cried.
As Christianity spread, the condition of the slaves
grew better, and gradually this sort of slavery
But in the fifteenth century, slavery again grew
When the Portuguese,^ under Prince Henry the
Navigator, were exploring the coast of West Africa,
they one day brought back some black men, to show
their royal master. The first idea in those days
was to make these black men Christian, and to
use them in the royal household. They were very
useful, and more and more ships went off to the
west coast, to bring back to Spain and Portugal
these negroes. When Columbus ^ discovered the
West Indies, these black men were shipped over
from Africa in quantities, to take the place of the
native Indians in the sugar plantations. Presently
the supply of negroes from the coast was exhausted,
and men had to go inland and hunt them down to
the coast. The first Englishman to engage in this
cruel traffic was Captain John Hawkins,^ of Eliz-
abethan fame. In the year 1562, he sailed to
Sierra Leone, where he captured 300 negroes,
^ See Book 11. chapter 28.
' See Book II. chapter 30. ■ See Book III. chapter 15.
158 INCREASE OF SLAVE-TRADE. [i7th cent.
which he sold for high prices to the Spaniards in
the West Indies.
These were days of adventure and daring, in
which human suffering played a large, silent part.
Hawkins thought nothing of setting fire to native
villages in Africa, and capturing the negroes as
they attempted to escape. They were then chained
together, as though they had been cattle, and driven
to the coast .to wait for ships bound for America.
In the small sailing ships of the day, they were
crammed below close to one another, as herrings
in a barrel. In this state, they had to toss on the
high seas for weeks together. Hundreds of them
died from cold, exposure, want of proper food, and
disease, before ever they reached the new homes of
their bondage. They were gratefully bought by
the colonists in America, for labourers were scarce,
and there was much to be done in the new country.
Dutch and French joined in the trade. Each
nation had its own slave centre in West Africa,
and each shipped negro slaves to its own colony,
on the distant shores of the Atlantic Ocean. As
the demand increased, so the supply increased, till
the slave-trade became the very life of the new
colonies, the " strength and sinews " of the Western
Soon more than half the trade was in British
hands. From Liverpool and Bristol, nearly 200
ships sailed in the course of one year, to pick up
slaves in Africa to sell in America.
18TH CENT.] SLAVE-TRADE CONDEMNED. 159
It was not till the eighteenth century, that the
nature of the slave-trade came to be understood,
when stories of cruelty and misery endured by the
slaves, reached Europe, and all that was best in
England rose up against it. Men began to inquire
more into the condition of the slave. They learnt
that he was treated as an animal, rather than a
"A slave" — ran the slave-dealer's contract — "a
slave is in the power of the master to whom he
belongs. The master may sell him, dispose of his
person, his industry, his labour. He can do nothing,
possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but what
must belong to his master."
This was slavery indeed. Further, his children
might be torn from him and sold to other masters,
and he reaped no reward from the long and weary
days of work often forced from him by means of
a whip. Of course there were exceptions. There
were slaves devoted to their masters, slaves who
would die for them. But, as a rule, they were just
so many cattle, and treated as such.
The same year that America made her great
Declaration of Independence, England declared that
the " slave-trade was contrary to the laws of God
and the rights of men," and it was decided, that
as soon as a slave set his foot on the soil of the
British Islands, he was a free man. But it was
more than thirty years, before British merchants
could be brought to agree to give up this large
160 SLAVE-TRADE FORBIDDEN. [l807.
source of profit. It was not till the year 1807, that
the trade was finally forbidden. Meanwhile Den-
mark had already abolished the slave-trade in her
colonies. Gradually the other nations of Europe
followed the lead. And so the slave-trade became
illegal under the flags of the Western nations.
The greatest slave-dealing nation — even freedom-
loving England — had lifted up her voice against
oppression and cruelty, had carried her point against
'* thou great Wrong, that through the slow-paced years
Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield
The scourge that drove the labourer to the field
And turned a stony gaze on human tears,
Thy cruel reign is o'er."
33. THE DBPBNOB OP SARAGOZA.
" Her lover sinks — she sheds no ill-timed tear ;
Her chief is slain — she fills his fatal post ;
Her fellows flee — she checks their base career ;
The foe retires— she heads the sallying host."
While the world, growing more human, was rais-
ing its voice against slavery abroad, Napoleon was
turning his attention to Portugal, the traditional
friend of Great Britain. He sent a force to invade
Portugal, and her capital Lisbon was soon occupied
by the French. Now Spain must be conquered too;
Spain, with her many valuable possessions in South
1808.] NAPOLEON AND SPAIN. 161
America, must be added to the growing empire of
On the throne of Spain, was an old and now
almost imbecile king, Charles IV., a descendant of
Louis XIV. of France. His son, Ferdinand, was
little better than himself, and the court of Madrid
was a mass of intrigue and scandal.
Napoleon himself travelled to Bayonne, a town
on the borders of France and Spain. Here he
stopped, and sent for the royal family of Spain.
Charles and his queen arrived with the rebellious
Ferdinand. Angry scenes took place. The old
king brandished his stick over the head of
Ferdinand. At last he was persuaded to ab-
dicate his tottering throne in favour of Napoleon,
and retire on a pension to France. There was
still Ferdinand to be settled.
** Unless between this and midnight you too
abdicate," roared Napoleon to the young man,
"you shall be treated as a rebel."
Ferdinand was terrified into yielding. Napoleon
was triumphant. He had bought the crown of
Spain and all her possessions. It was a master-
piece of skill. It was also a tremendous blunder :
he did not know the Spanish people. Such high-
handed conduct goaded them to madness.
When the news became known, that Joseph
Bonaparte had been made King of Spain, one
general heart-broken cry rang from end to end
of the Peninsula. Then, like a volcano, all Spain
BK. IV. L
Digitized by VjOOQIC
162 SIEGE OF SARAGOZA. [I8O8.
burst forth in an explosion of fiiry and indignation.
In one day, in one hour, without signal, without
watchword, the whole nation rose, as one man, to
withstand the power of Napoleon. From the
mountaineers of Asturias in the north, to the sailors
of Carthagena in the south, from the Pyrenees to
the sea-coast of Portugal, the battle-cry rang out,
as, with the pride of ancient Rome, the Spaniards
prepared fiercely to defend their country. The
story of how they defended Saragoza, is one of
the most famous in the history of the world.
Saragoza, the capital of Aragon, was one of the
oldest cities of Spain. The very name — Caesar
Augustus^ — speaks of Roman times. The town
stood in an open plain, covered with olive grounds
and closed in by high mountains. Standing on
the river Ebro, it was entered by twelve gates.
It was built wholly of brick : the streets were
narrow and crooked. When the French soldiers
began to besiege the town in the end of June 1808,
there were but a few hundred Spanish soldiers
there, sixteen cannon, and a few muskets. But
the citizens themselves, under their leader Palafox,
set to work to defend their town. They placed
beams of timber together, endways, against the
houses, in a sloping direction, behind which the
people might shelter themselves, when the shot
fell. To strengthen their defences, they tore down
the awnings of their windows and formed them into
' ^ See Book I. chapter 54.
1808.] BRAVE DEFENCE. 163
sacks, which they filled with sand and piled up
before the gates to serve as a battery. All the
women helped. They formed themselves into
companies — some to nurse the wounded, some to
carry food and water to the brave defenders.
Monks bore arms, and nuns made cartridges for
children to distribute.
Among the heroic defenders was Augustina
Saragoza, a young woman of twenty-two. She
arrived one day to bring food to the defenders at
one of the gates, to find every man had been shot
dead, so terrific was the fire from the French guns.
Among the dead artillerymen was her lover, so
says the story. So desperate was the scene, that
for a moment even the Spaniards seemed to waver
before they remanned the guns. Augustina sprang
forward over the dead and dying, snatched a match
from the hands of her dead lover, and fired off a
26 -pounder. Then, jumping upon the gun, she
swore she would never quit it alive, while the siege
lasted. Such heroism put fresh courage into all
hearts. The Spaniards rushed into the battery,
renewed their fire, and repulsed the French.
Augustina kept her word. She was the heroine
of a fight, where all were heroines, and she is known
to history as the Maid of Saragoza. At the end
of forty-six days, the city was completely surrounded,
food was failing, and no place was safe from the
enemy's fire. On August 2 the hospital took fire,
and again the courage of the women was shown, as
164 SPANISH SUCCESS. [I8O8.
they carried the sick and wounded men from their
beds and fought their way through the burning
flames. Two days later the French forced their
way into the town and occupied a large convent
called St Engracia. The French general then
summoned Palafox to surrender.
" Headquarters, St Engracia. Capitulation/' was
the brief message.
** Headquarters, Saragoza. War to the knife,"
was the heroic reply.
Terrible was the conflict now the French were
in the town. The war raged not only from street
to street, but from house to house, from room to
room, for eleven days and nights. Stories of
heroism are too numerous to tell. A Spaniard
managed with difficulty to fasten a rope round one
of the French cannon, but in the struggle that
ensued, the rope broke, and the prize was lost at
the moment of victory. By August 13, little of
their city was left to the Spaniards, and things
seemed at their worst when, early one morning,
the French were seen in full retreat. The men
and women of Saragoza had saved their town.
True, it was taken by the French after another
terrible siege, but the famous courage of the
Spaniards was spoken of throughout Europe, and
their spirit of patriotism helped to bring them that
help from England, which, after years of fighting,
freed their country from Napoleon.
1808.] NAPOLEON IN SPAIN. 165
34. SIB JOHN MOOBB AT COBUNA.
" Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory ;
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,
But we left him alone with his glory."
— Chables Wolfe,
Meanwhile Napoleon was rejoicing in this new
addition to his great empire. With the gold of
Mexico, he would build a new fleet to rival England
on the seas.
" England is mine," he had told himself already,
*' there is nothing to fear."
But in reality there was much to fear. England
had taken up the cause of the Peninsula against
him, and Sir Arthur Wellesley was already landing
on the coast of Portugal with British troops. With
these, he drove the French out of Portugal, and
leaving Sir John Moore in his place, he returned to
Napoleon now saw that he would have to con-
quer Spain for himself, and accordingly he left
Paris at the head of a large army in the autumn of
1808. In a week he had reached Bayonne, and
soon the many passes of the Pyrenees were filled
with the ceaseless flow of armed men marching
under the banner of the Imperial French eagle.
*' When I shall show myself beyond the Pyrenees,
the English, in terror, will plunge into the ocean to
166 ENGLAND HELPS SPAIN. [18O8.
avoid shame, defeat, and death," said the great
warrior, with confidence.
In four divisions, the great French army burst
into Spain, carrying all before them, and on
December 4th Napoleon entered Madrid in triumph.
"I will drive the English from the Peninsula,"
he said grandly, as he made his plans for marching
on Lisbon and the south of Spain with a tried army
of 300,000 men.
"If Spain is not submissive, I shall give my
brother another throne and put the crown of Spain
on my own head," he announced at Madrid.
But the daring resolve of a British soldier, was
now to save Spain from the ever-tightening grip of
Sir John Moore was already marching from Lisbon
towards Madrid, when he heard of Napoleon's ad-
vance in person. To go on now seemed madness;
to retreat without striking a blow, was to betray
Spain and dishonour England. Calmly he decided
to try and cut off Napoleon's communications,
keeping a road for his own retreat to Coruna always
open, whence he could embark for England.
This changed the plans of Napoleon. He set out
in all haste to meet the English. It was three days
before Christmas, when Napoleon and his French
troops found themselves at the foot of the Guada-
mar hills, which lay to the north of Madrid,
between him and the English army. Deep snow
choked the passes, a storm of wild sleet and snow
1809.] SIR JOHN MOORE's RETREAT. 167
was raging over the mountains. The night was
very dark. The advance-guard pronounced the
way to be impossible. " But neither the deep snow
nor the wild hills, nor the yet wilder tempest, could
stay Napoleon's vehement purpose." Placing him-
self at the head of the army, he advanced on foot,
leading the soldiers through the darkness, amid
storms of blinding hail and drifting snow.
The army emerged, after two days' struggle, to
find themselves just twelve hours too late to meet
Moore and his army. He was already on the way
to Coruna. Marshal Soult, one of Napoleon's most
famous generals, was in hot pursuit. At the same
time Moore was yet some 200 miles from the coast.
Soult was pressing him hard : Napoleon was coming
up like a tempest behind him.
Christmas passed. The new year of 1809 broke
to find Moore and the English still retreating, but
Napoleon had given up the pursuit to Soult.
"The English are running away as fast as they
can : they fly in terror," he wrote from the town of
Astorga, feeling Spain was already his.
Meanwhile Moore was hurrying on. The road
lay through wild ranges of hills, for the most part
covered with snow. Storms raged around them,
the rivers and little streams were swollen, there was
no shelter from the deadly blasts of winter. Now
and then they turned at bay, hoping that the
French, who were on their very heels, would attack.
Often through the long dark nights they struggled
168 BATTLE AT CORUNA. [l809.
on, their feet bleeding, their clothes torn, — hungry,
thirsty, out of spirits.
At last they straggled into Coruna. They had
lost 4000 men from cold and sickness, but not a flag
or a gun. Three days' wait and the ships were
ready to take them home. Orders for embarking
had been given, when the French army, under Soult,
was seen moving on the hills, above the town. As
Sir John Moore saw what it meant, his face lit up.
He might yet retrieve the tragedy of his enforced
retreat, yet bring glory to the English arms.
Soon the battle began, and was raging furiously,
when Moore was struck by a cannon ball, which
threw him from his horse and shattered his shoulder
to pieces. Baising himself from the ground on his
right elbow, not a moan escaped him, as he eagerly
watched the struggle. It was not until he saw
that the English were gaining ground, that he
suffered himself to be borne away. One of his
officers, Hardinge, began to unbuckle his sword,
but Moore stopped him.
"It is well as it is," he murmured. '*I had
rather it should go out of the field with me."
Every now and then he made the soldiers stop,
halt, and turn round, so that he might see for
himself how the fight was going. Those around
him expressed the hope, that he might yet recover.
" No, Hardinge," he said, looking at his terrible
wounds ; " I feel that to be impossible."
One among the little group burst into tears.
1809.] DEATH OF MOOBE. 169
" My friend," said Moore, turning to him with a
smile, "this is nothing."
The surgeons who examined him at once saw
there was no hope.
"You know I have always wished to die this
way," whispered the dying man. "I hope the
people of England will be satisfied. I hope my
country will do me justice," he added.
And as nigit fell and the thunder of battle grew
fainter and more faint, the hero of Coruna passed
away at the hour of victory. Let the well-known
lines by Wolfe finish the story.
" l^ot a drum was beard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the ramparts we hurried ;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning,
By the struggling moonbeam's misty light.
And the lanthom dimly burning.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow ;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face that was dead*
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed
And smoothed down his lonely pillow.
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow !
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone.
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him ;
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on
In the grave where a Briton has laid him."
170 WELLESLEY TO SPAIN. [l809.
35. THE VICTORY OF TALAVBRA.
" Greatest, yet with least pretence,
Great in council and great in war,
Foremost captain of his time,
Rich in saving common-sense.
And, as the greatest only are,
In his simplicity sublime."
— ^Tennyson (Wellington).
While Sir John Moore lay dying on the field of
Coruna, Napoleon was galloping off with all speed
to Austria. But he left orders with his generals,
that they were to finish driving the English from
the Peninsula and subdue the country. He made
not the slightest doubt, that all would soon be ac-
complished, and that his brother Joseph would rule
undisturbed over his new Spanish kingdom. But
as Sir Arthur Wellesley once more stepped upon
the scene, the eyes of Europe became rivetted upon
the conflict, that now threatened to overthrow that
It was but three months after Coruna, that the
greatest soldier England could now produce landed
at Lisbon. Three French armies, under tried
generals, confronted him in Portugal and Spain.
It was against Soult at Oporto, that Wellesley
determined to strike his first blow. So he marched
northwards till he came to the river Douro, which
rolled rapidly between him and the enemy at
Oporto. The march had been quick, and Soult was
1809.] FRENCH LEAVE PORTUGAL. 171
strangely unprepared for what now happened.
Mounting a hill opposite the town, Wellesley
hastily surveyed the situation. There was no
bridge over the Douro, no boats visible on the
banks. But the river must be crossed. Presently
it was discovered, that a barber from Oporto was
crossing over in a tiny boat. This was instantly
seized, and, springing in, an English officer rowed
back across the stream to the farther bank, where
he found four old barges stranded in the mud,
which he towed across.
'*Let the men embark," said Wellesley hastily.
As the English dragged their guns up the hill
on the opposite side, Soult discovered what had
happened. He had been completely surprised, and
nothing was left him, but to retreat with all the
speed possible. At four o'clock in the afternoon,
it is said that Wellesley ate the dinner prepared
for Marshal Soult in Oporto.
With Soult in full flight, and Oporto, the second
town in Portugal, in English hands, Wellesley
determined to push on towards Madrid. The
Spanish army under old Cuesta now joined him;
but Cuesta proved a sore trial to the English com-
mander. On June 27 the English and Spanish
armies entered Spain, and Wellesley's troubles
began. He had crossed the boundary with the full
assurance that food should be found for his troops.
But Spanish promises proved to be worthless, and
the English were nearly starved. Horses died by
172 cuesta's obstinacy. ri809.
hundreds, and the British soldiers were led on,
complaining bitterly of their treatment. At last
they reached Talavera, a picturesque old town on
the Tagus, some seventy -five miles to the south
of Madrid. Cuesta now proved hopeless. While
Wellesley was discussing matters of the highest
importance with him, the old man would fall asleep.
On July 22, Wellesley found that a single French
army was within striking distance, and Cuesta at
last agreed to attack him next day, before other
French troops joined him. Wellesley was arrang-
ing the plan of battle for the morrow, when the old
Spanish general rose and went off to bed. The
British were under arms at three next morning, but
Cuesta did not get up till seven. Then he arrived
at the British camp in a coach with six horses,
to say that, as it was Sunday, he must decline
to fight. Later in the day, he was induced to
examine the ground for the coming battle; but
he soon alighted from his coach-and-six, sat down
under the shade of a neighbouring tree, and went
off to sleep.
'*If Cuesta had fought, when I wanted him, it
would have been as great a battle as Waterloo, and
would have cleared the French out of Spain," said
Sir Arthur Wellesley pitifiilly, when speaking of
Cuesta's obstinacy cost him dear. Three French
armies now joined forces — making some 50,000 in
all — and held the road to Madrid. Among the
1809.] VICTORY AT TALAVERA. 173
French leaders was Joseph Bonaparte, fighting for
At two o'clock on the afternoon of July 27 the
battle of Talavera began. Perhaps the chief feature
in it was the flight of the Spaniards. " They fired
one far-off and terrific volley into space, and then,
before its sound had died away, no less than 10,000
of them, or nearly a third of Cuesta's entire force,
betook themselves to flight. The infantry flung
away their muskets, the gunners cut their traces
and galloped off on their horses : baggage-carts and
ammunition waggons swelled the torrent of fugi-
tives." And behind them all Cuesta, in his carriage
drawn by nine mules, followed hard. All that day
the battle lasted. Towards midnight the firing
died away, but only to be renewed on the morrow.
Right through the day the battle raged, until,
when night again fell, Wellesley stood victorious
on the battlefield of Talavera, though 6000 of his
men lay dead or dying around him. The loss of
those brave lives was not in vain.
" The battle of Talavera,^' says one, " restored to
the successors of Marlborough the glory which for
a whole age seemed to have passed from them."
The defeat of his army made Napoleon change
his mind about the bravery of British troops and
the ability of British commanders.
"It seems this is a man indeed, this Wellesley,"
said Napoleon when the news reached him at
174 VISCOUNT WELLINGTON. [l809.
In this the whole world agreed with him. Eng-
land showered honours on her hero. He was made
a peer, with the titles of Baron Douro of Wellesley,
and Viscount Wellington of Talavera.
Henceforth the " ugly boy Arthur " is known to
history as the Duke of Wellington. This is he —
" Who never sold the Truth to serve the hour.
Nor palter'd with Eternal God for power ;
Whose life was work, whose language rife
With rugged maxims hewn from life ;
Who never spoke against a foe,"
36. THE PEASANT HERO OF THE TYROL.
" The land we from our fathers had in trust,
And to our children will transmit or die."
— WoEDSWOETH (Tyrolese).
From the pursuit of Sir John Moore, Napoleon was
hastening to Austria, where a storm was gathering
which threatened to be even more serious, than
that which had already burst over Spain. To help
in the conquest of Spain, Napoleon had removed
numbers of French troops from Austria. This
therefore was the moment, for that unhappy country
to rise, and struggle from under the yoke of France.
Nowhere was the appeal to arms answered quicker,
than amid the mountains of the Tyrol. The Tyrol
was a rugged country, which had belonged to
Austria for 400 years, till Napoleon had taken it
1809.] TO CRUSH NAPOLEON. 175
away and given it to Bavaria. The people might
in name belong to Bavaria, but the T3n:olese hearts
were faithful to Austria, for which country they
were ready to do and to die.
One day in March 1809, the mountaineers were
stirred by a proclamation from the Emperor of
" To arms ! to arms ! Tyrolese," it ran. " The
hour of deliverance is at hand. Now is the time
to draw your swords while Napoleon is away. Be
faithful to Austria. Young and old, to arms for
your Emperor and your country, for your children
and your liberty ! "
It was received with shouts of joy* They would
cast off the yoke of Bavaria and belong to Austria
once more, and the ever-growing power of Napoleon
should be crushed. At their head was Andrew
Hofer, a village innkeeper in the Tyrol. He was
a very Hercules for strength, a tall, middle-aged
man, wearing always the peasant dress of his
country — a large black hat with its broad brim,
black ribbons, and a curling feather ; a short
green coat and red waistcoat, over which he wore
green braces; short black breeches and red stock-
ings. To him the faithful peasants looked for
guidance, and he did not fail them.
So that the rising should be secret and sponta-
neous, it was arranged that the signal should be
made by throwing sawdust into the river Inn,
which would float rapidly down and be understood
176 TYROLESE REVOLT. [l809.
by the peasants. Success depended on secrecy,
for Bavarians were at the capital of the Tyrol,
It was the 8th of April, that sawdust was seen
to be floating on the river. Throwing off his broad-
brimmed hat, Hofer shouted, "Tyrolese, the hour
of deliverance is at hand ! "
All through the night, the passes of the Engadine
seemed alive with moving troops ; the stillness was
broken by the heavy tread of armed men and the
rattling of waggons and guns. Fires blazed from
the mountain-tops, and the Tyrol was known to
be in open rebellion. A few days later, the main
body, numbering some 15,000, had collected on
the heights above Innspruck.
" Down with the Bavarians 1 Long live our
Emperor ! " cried the peasants, as they rushed
to the attack.
After two hours' fighting, they had won their
capital back from the Bavarians.
"Your efforts have touched my heart," wrote
the Austrian Emperor. "I count you among the
most faithfiil subjects in the Austrian dominions."
In a few days. Bavarian rule was destroyed, and
by the end of the month no foreign soldier remained
on Tyrolese soil. Many were the brave deeds done
by the men and women of the Tyrol to free their
country. During one of the conflicts, a young
peasant woman came out from a farmhouse, with
a cask of beer on her head for her fighting country-
1809.] BATTLE OF WAGRAM. 177
men. Heedless of the enemy's fire she made her
way to the scene of action, when a bullet struck
the cask. Undaunted, she placed her thumb in
the hole made by the bullet, and gave the weary
peasants a drink in spite of the danger she was in.
Meanwhile Napoleon had reached Austria. On
the morning of July 16, the two largest armies that
had ever been brought face to face in Europe, met
to fight. The great world - conqueror gained a
complete victory over the Austrians at Wagram,
entered Vienna once more in triumph, and dictated
his own terms to rebellious Austria.
This was a terrible blow to the peasants of the
Tyrol. Austria might make peace with Napoleon,
but the men of the Tyrol determined to go on
fighting under Andrew Hofer. In vain did the
Emperor beg them to lay down their arms, and not
prolong a conflict that was over and throw away
their lives ; in vain was Andrew Hofer bidden
to appear before the Bavarians, who had retaken
"I will do so," was the obstinate answer; "but
it shall be at the head of ten thousand men."
At the head of his peasant patriots, he once more
posted his army on the heights above Innspruck.
Below lay a road, along which the Bavarians must
pass. Suddenly a cry rang out " For Tyrol strike!"
and huge stones, trunks of trees, and stoixes were
hurled down pitilessly on the heads of the be-
wildered Bavarians passing below. The destruction
BK. IV. M
Digitized by VjOOQIC
178 D£ATH OF HOFEB. [18IO.
was complete ; and on Napoleon s birthday, August
15, Hofer triumphantly entered his capital He
took up his abode in the imperial castle, and carried
on the government in the name of the Emperor.
Then came another letter from the Emperor
saying decidedly, " I have been obliged to make
peace with France." This meant that the Tyrol
had been given back to Bavaria. Then, at last,
the Tyrolese threw down their arms and lost heart.
Hofer hid himself in a lonely little Alpine hut with
his wife and children, and here, one bitter January
day, he was found by French soldiers, who marched
him through the deep snow to his trial as a traitor.
The trial was short, the verdict certain. He was
to be shot in twenty-four hours, before the Aus-
trians could hear of his capture. Bravely Hofer
had fought, bravely he died. Arrived at the
place of execution, the French guards formed a
square around the peasant hero. A drummer boy
stepped forward and offered to bind his eyes, and
bade him kneel.
'* No," cried Hofer firmly ; " I am used to stand
upright before my Creator, and in that posture
will I deliver up my spirit to him."
Firmly he uttered the word " Fire ! " Firmly
Twenty years later, the Tyrol was restored to
Austria, and in the cathedral church the Austrians
erected a statue in white Tyrolese marble to the
peasant, who had fought and died for his country.
1809.] napoleon's AMBITION. 179
37. THE EMPIRE AT ITS HEIGHT.
" I have touched the highest point of all my greatness."
Having made peace with Austria and suppressed
the restless Tyrol, Napoleon returned to Paris.
His great ambition was still unsatisfied, and he
now made up his mind to take a further step to
improve his wonderful position.
" I and my house," he said grandly to his French
subjects, "will ever be found ready to sacrifice
everything, even our dearest ties and feelings, to
the welfare of the French people."
This was the first time he had hinted to the
world, of the great step he was about to take, in
divorcing his faithful wife Josephine, in order to
marry a royal princess of Europe. Josephine, the
widow of a French general, had married Napoleon
in the days when he was a lonely young Corsican,
making his way upwards in Paris. She and her
two children had been loved by him for fourteen
years. To her son, Eugene, Napoleon had given
important posts ; her daughter, Hortense, had been
married to Louis Bonaparte, and was now Queen
of Holland. Josephine had shared Napoleon's
humble fortunes; she had been crowned Empress
of the French but six years before.
One November evening, in the palace of the
180 NAPOLEON MARRIES MARIA LOUISA. [l810.
Tuileries, where they lived, Napoleon told Josephine
of the step he intended to take. It was for the
good of the empire, he told her. Was she willing
to make this sacrifice?
It was a scene that left its mark on the stern
Emperor. Josephine pleaded and entreated until,
quite overcome, she fell fainting at his feet.
Tenderly he raised her and carried her down
the narrow staircase leading to her room. But
Josephine had received a wound past healing,
and she disappears from history — a heart-broken
Napoleon now turned to Bussia to ask the hand
of Alexander's sister, but this was refused him. He
then turned to Austria, and was accepted by the
Emperor Francis, for his daughter Maria Louisa,
who was just eighteen. Her journey from Vienna
to the French capital is not unlike that of her
great-aunt Marie Antoinette-^ forty years before,
as she drove with her Austrian ladies to meet the
bridegroom, she had never yet seen. Napoleon rode
forth to meet her, and they were married with
great splendour in Paris.
Napoleon was now at the height of his greatness
and glory. He had extended the French Empire
far and wide. The rich lands beyond the Rhine
owned his sway, in the person of his youngest
brother Jerome. His brother Louis, having ab-
dicated the throne of Holland, that country had
1 See Book IV. chapter 14.
1811.] napoleon's son. 181
just been formally annexed to France. The Pope
had been carried captive to France, and the Papal
States now belonged to the French Empire. Paris,
Rome, and Amsterdam were the three great capitals
of the world - empire. Sweden was not strong
enough to resist his power, Austria was at peace.
For the throne of restless Spain, Joseph Bonaparte
was still contending, but Napoleon had no fears in
that quarter. As yet Russia was following his lead,
but it was evident she was fast " slipping out of the
leading-strings of Tilsit.*'
When Alexander of Russia had heard of 'Na-
poleon's marriage with Maria Louisa, he had ex-
claimed, " The next thing will be to drive us back
into our forests."
He was not far wrong. Russia had not been
active enough in closing her northern ports to
British trade. To press yet closer this " Continental
system," as it was called, was Napoleon's only hope
of still crushing England. If Alexander would not
submit, Alexander must be made to submit.
Napoleon was feeling more secure than ever just
now. A son had been born to him in March 1811,
and he had presented the baby Napoleon to his
people, as King of Rome. For this child of the
great empire was reserved the saddest of fates.^
" Now begins the finest epoch of my reign,"
the Emperor had cried in his joy, at the birth of
^ See Book V. chapter 14
182 THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN. [l812.
He did not know, that it was the moment of
It was August 16 — the day after his birthday,
when the little Napoleon was six months old —
that Napoleon sketched to his ministry his whole
plan of the great Russian campaign, which had long
been occupying his mind. He was going to invade
Russia with an overwhelming force, and compel her
to close every port to English ships. Now was the
time to strike, for the Peninsular war was at its
height, and England was already at war with the
A tremendous force was collected, numbering
600,000 men. There were Austrians, Italians,
Poles, Prussians, as well as French — all the soldiers
of the empire. There were crowned heads in com-
mand, and tried generals. Such a host had never
been seen before in modern history.
On May 16, 1812, Napoleon himself arrived at
Dresden, with his wife Maria Louisa and the little
child-king of Rome. Here the Emperor of Austria
came to meet them, and various crowned heads
paid court to the man who, for the last time, was
figuring as the ** king of kings."
A fortnight later, he was on his way to Russia at
the head of his Grand Army. Arrived at the banks
of the Niemen — the river forming the boundary
between Russia and Prussia — Napoleon stopped.
He was not very far from Tilsit, where he had
made peace with Alexander on the raft in this same
1812.] THE CONTINENTAL SYSTEM. 183
river. Would it be peace again with the Tsar or
war? He issued a proclamation to his soldiers.
" Soldiers," it ran, " Bussia is dragged on by her
fate : her destiny must be fiilfiUed. Let us march,
let us cross the Niemen ; let us carry war into her
In a very different spirit Alexander was address-
ing his troops on the farther side.
" Soldiers," he was saying, " you fight for your
native land. Your Emperor is amongst you. God
fights against the aggressor."
Alexander spoke truly when he said, "I have
learnt to know him now. Napoleon or I : I or
Napoleon : we cannot reign side by side."
38. THE SHANNON AND THE CHESAPEAKE.
"Old England's sons are English yet, old England's hearts are
And still she wears her coronet aflame with sword and song.
As ki their pride our fathers died, if need be, so die we ;
So wield we still, gainsay who will, the sceptre of the sea."
Napoleon had closed all European ports against
British commerce. But as the fleet of Great
Britain was supreme upon the seas, she made
answer that henceforth no colonial goods should
be obtainable in France except through British
ships. The United States of America, as a neutral
nation, taking neither the side of England, nor of
184 WAR BETWEEN ENGLAND AND AMERICA. [l812.
France in their terrific struggle, resented this
action, for it stopped their direct trading with
France. Indeed it paralysed all trade, and in June
1812 the United States declared war on Great
It was a bold challenge. England indeed had
her hands full with Napoleon in Europe ; but even
now her triumph was beginning. Napoleon was
already on his fatal march to Moscow ; Wellington
had seized the two frontier fortresses^ of Ciudad
Rodrigo and Badajoz. But England had the
greatest navy in the world — a thousand sail ; and
the United States had the smallest — about twenty
ships. The young Republic was full of <5onfidence
in their newly found strength ; they had lost the
guiding hand of Washington, who always upheld
peace with the mother country.
It was somewhat natural to find that England,
rich in her traditions of Nelson and Trafalgar,
thought but little of this challenge, until one day
the startling news reached her, that five of her
ships of war had been captured by the United
States. Something must be done at once, to wipe
out this unlooked-for disgrace, that had fallen on
the British flag.
One strong unassuming English sailor now took
the matter into his own hands. Captain Broke, of
H.M.S. Shannon, had spent the winter off* Halifax,
Nova Scotia, where he heard of the declaration of
1 See Book IV. chapter 39.
1813.1 A NAVAL DUEL. 185
war between the two countries. He at once began
to drill his gunners more severely than ever, until
he made every one of them a good shot. The dis-
cipline on board his ship was splendid. His crew
had worked with him for the last seven years ; they
had shared hardships and dangers together; and
there was complete understanding between master
and man. All were alike burning with desire to
meet the ships of the United States. The Shannon
herself was not a large ship. She carried thirty-
eight guns and 284 men. She bore the marks of
her service in the icy regions of the north. " Her
sides were rusty, her sails were weather-soiled ; a
solitary flag flew from her mizzen-peak, and even
its blue had become bleached by sun and rain and
wind to a dingy grey."
In May 1813 the Shannon lay off Boston.
Captain Broke determined to end the naval dispute
by a single challenge of ship to ship. As antagon-
ist he chose the Chesapeake, a ship larger than the
Shannon, and carrying more men. On Tuesday,
June 1, he despatched a letter to Captain Lawrence
of the Chesapeake, which had been lying for months
past in Boston Harbour.
" As the Chesapeake appears now ready for sea,"
ran the challenge, ** I request that you will do me
the favour to meet the Shannon with her, ship to
ship, to try the fortune of our respective flags.
Choose your terms and place, and let us meet."
Captain Lawrence was a formidable foe. He had
186 , CAPTAIN BROKE [l813.
already captured the Peacock, an English battle-
ship, and was known to be one of the most gallant
Having sent the challenge, Captain Broke now
went up" to the mast-head of the Shannon and
watched anxiously for any movement on the part
of the hostile ship. A faint breeze rippled over the
waters of the Boston Harbour, while the summer
sun lit up the town beyond. Mid-day came, and
Broke descended to the deck.
" She will surely be out to-day or to-morrow," he
said, pointing over the gleaming waters. The hours
passed on. Daylight was beginning to wane, when
a cry rang out through the ship, " She is coming ! "
It was true. Sail after sail spread forth, flag
after flag unfurled, and with all speed the Chesa-
peake was seen bearing down on her expectant foe,
attended by barges and pleasure-boats.
To the meil of Boston, it seemed that Lawrence
sailed forth to certain victory. They crowded
house-tops and hills to see his success ; they pre-
pared a banquet to celebrate his triumphant return.
Slowly and in grim silence the Shannon and
Chesapeake drew near. On board the Shannon,
Broke was addressing his men.
" Shannons ! " he cried, " the Americans have
lately triumphed over the British flag; they have
said that England had forgotten how to fight.
You will let them see to-day, there are Englishmen
in the Shannon who still know how to fight. Don't
Shannon and Chesapeake,
188 THE SHANNON WINS. [l813.
cheer. Go quietly to your posts. I know you will
all do your duty."
As the Chesapeake moved on, a blaze of flutter-
ing colours, one sailor looked sadly at the one faded
blue flag above him.
"Mayn't we have three ensigns, sir, like she
has?" he asked.
" No," answered the Captain ; " we have always
been an unassuming ship."
The fight soon began. Never was there a braver,
shorter, or more deadly conflict. On both sides the
fire was tremendous, but the well-trained British
gunners on the Shannon fired with deadly aim;
every shot told. The rigging of the Chesapeake
was torn, her stern was beaten in, her decks were
swept by fire. For six minutes the conflict raged.
Lawrence had already fallen, mortally wounded.
As the two ships ground together, Broke shouted
above the din, " Follow me who can ! " Then
bounding on to the deck of the Chesapeake, over
the bodies of dead and dying, the English sailors
boarded the American ship, and thirteen minutes
after the first shot had been fired, the British flag
waved over the Chesapeake.
" Blow her up ! blow her up ! " cried the dying
But it was too late. The foe had yielded ; resist-
ance was over. Broke, now lying badly wounded,
had won. He had restored confidence in his
country's fleet, but at tremendous cost. 252 men
1812.] NAPOLEON IN RUSSIA, 189
from the two ships fell that day. It was character-
istic of the Captain of the Shannon, that he should
enter in his journal for that day only two words —
" Took Chesapeake."
This ended the naval war, though fighting by
land went on between the two countries till 1814,
when peace was made, which has never been broken
39. NAPOLEON'S RETREAT PROM MOSCOW.
" No pitying voice commands a halt,
No courage can dispel the dire assault :
Distracted, spiritless, benumbed, and blind.
Whole legions sink — and in one instant find
Burial and death."
The story of Napoleon's advance to and retreat
from Moscow, is one of the most pathetic in human
history. Full of spirit, the Grand Army had started,
but already difficulties were beginning. It took
three days to cross the Niemen, by means of
pontoon bridges thrown across; but they reached
the far side unmolested, and pursued their way
over the sandy wastes. The solitude of the way,
the sultry heat of a Russian midsummer, and
drenching thunderstorms depressed the spirits of the
army. By the time they reached Vilna — some
seventy miles on — 10,000 horses had perished,
30,000 stragglers had deserted, and there were
190 NAPOLEON AT MOSCOW. [l812.
25,000 sick men, and the transports as yet ever
SO far behind.
It was not till July 16, that an advance was
possible, and the Grand Army could once more
march on its way to Moscow. Fever and disease
now played their part, and food ran short. No
human genius could have achieved the stupendous
task, Napoleon had now undertaken. So fearful
was the prospect, that Napoleon seriously thought
of putting off the invasion till the spring. But
the temptation of conquest was strong upon him,
and once more the great host moved forward to
Smolensko. The Russians moved out of each city
as the French advanced.
At last, on September 7, the two armies met
some seventy miles from Moscow, and a tremendous
battle was fought at Borodino. Both sides claimed
the victory, which neither had won, though 40,000
French and 30,000 Russians lay wounded or dead
on the battlefield.
The Grand Army, now so reduced in size, reached
Moscow a week later. There lay the famous city
at last at the foot of the hill, with its gardens, its
churches, its river, its steeples crowned with golden
balls, all flashing and blazing in the bright morning
sunlight of that autumn day.
" Moscow ! Moscow !" cried the delighted soldiers.
''Yes, here at last is the famous city," said
Napoleon, reigning in his horse.
The conqueror entered his new capital, expecting
1812.] THE RETREAT BEGUN. 191
to be met with the keys of the city and the sub-
mission of Alexander. What was his surprise,
then, to find the city empty and deserted I The
houses were closed, the streets were bare. To add
to this disappointment, flames were soon seen
bursting forth from various quarters. The Russians
had set their capital on fire !
For three days and nights the fire raged furiously,
till from the very Kremlin or citadel, where Napoleon
was staying, flames issued forth. A great part of
the wonderful city was destroyed, and the question
of food-supply again faced Napoleon. The Russians
had swept the district bare.
Still Napoleon hoped to bring Alexander to
terms, but the Tsar's proclamation to his people
showed, that he understood the peril of the French
in Moscow : " The enemy is in deserted Moscow,
without means of existence. He has the wreck of
his army in Moscow. He is in the heart of Russia,
without a single Russian at his feet, while our
forces are increasing round him. To escape famine,
he must pass through the close ranks of our brave
Still Napoleon lingered on. September passed,
October had begun. The idea of spending a winter
in the blackened city, with only salted horse-flesh
to eat, was intolerable, and at last the order to
retreat was given.
It was the 18th of October, just a month after
their entry into the capital, that the French army
192 RETREAT FROM MOSCOW. [l812.
once more filed through the gates. There were about
100,000 fighting men now, with a number of sick.
Besides these, were a number of followers, stragglers,
prisoners, baggage -bearers, — men of all nations,
speaking all languages, — one idea of escaping the
terrors of a Russian winter hurrying them onwards.
So far the weather was fine. A few days after
their start, a Russian army blocked their way. A
battle was fought, and the Grand Army was further
reduced to 65,000 men. On they hastened. They
could rest and get food at Smolensko, if only they
could reach it, before the snow began. On November
6, winter suddenly came upon them. The clear
blue sky disappeared, the sun was seen no more,
bitter blasts of wind cut through them ; and then
came thick flakes of snow, darkening the whole air.
Through whirlwinds of snow and sleet, the troops
forced their dreary way. Their clothes froze on
them, icicles hung from their beards. Those who
sank down from very weariness, rose no more. All
order was at an end. Muskets fell from the frozen
hands that carried them. Before, above, around
them, was nothing but snow. Now and again they
tried to light fires to thaw their clothes and cook
their wretched meal of horse-flesh.
" Smolensko, Smolensko," they murmured to one
It was November 14, before they reached this
longed-for goal and literally fought for food. Two-
thirds of the army had perished in twenty-five days^
1,812.] PASSAGE OF THE BERESINA. 193
and much was yet before them. They must push
on quickly, — push on through bands of attacking
Russians all the way. The firmness of Napoleon
never left him. In the midst of the wildest swamp,
in snowstorms and darkness, by night and day, he
never lost sight of the fact, that this handful of
hungry, frost-bitten men was the Grand Army of
France, and that he, their leader, was the conqueror
of Europe. They were now within three days
march of the river Beresina, which had to be
crossed, -when news arrived, that the Russians had
broken down the bridge. The Emperor struck the
ground with his stick, and, raising his eyes to
heaven, cried, " Is it written there that henceforth
every step shall be a fault ? "
The situation was indeed desperate. They must
march on and cross the river under fire, and across
bridges of their own making. In the midst of their
sufferings, they never doubted their Emperor. His
genius had always triumphed ; he would lead them
to victory yet. On they dragged — on towards the
fatal Beresina. It was November 25, and late that
evening, the first pile was driven into the muddy
bank of the river for the bridge. All night they
worked, up to their necks in water, struggling with
pieces of ice carried down by the stream. The
lights from the Russian fires gleamed from the
opposite side. One after another his generals tried
to persuade Napoleon to escape, but he refused to
desert his army in the face of so great danger.
BK. IV. N
Digitized by VjOOQIC
194 TERRIBLE LOSSES. [l812.
All went well for a time. Napoleon and some
2000 soldiers were across, and the bridge was
heavily weighted with masses of struggling men,
when with a thundering crash and a cry of horror
the bridge broke in the middle. The Russians now
rushed to the attack, and terrible indeed was the
onslaught. Thousands were drowned, thousands
were killed. The scene was terrible. On November
29, Napoleon and the remains of the Grand Army
pushed on towards Vilna, where they arrived after
a fearful march through ice and snow. 'Here at
last the Emperor left them, to push on to Paris as
fast as he might.
Then, and not till then, the Grand Army lost
heart. The weather grew worse ; the very birds
froze in the air and dropped dead at their feet.
On they tramped, with their eyes cast down. To
stop meant certain death. The only sound in the
stillness, was the dull tread of their own feet in the
snow and the feeble groans of the dying. Their
only food was broiled horse-flesh, together with a
little rye meal, kneaded into muffins with snow-
water, and seasoned with the powder of their
Out of the 600,000 men who had so proudly
crossed the river Niemen seven months before, for
the conquest of Russia, only 20,000 staggered
across the frozen river. The rest of that mighty
host " lay at rest under Nature's winding - sheet
1812.] NAPOLEON BACK IN PARIS. 195
Just a week before Christmas, Napoleon reached
*' All had gone well," he said. ''Moscow was in
his power ; but the cold of the winter had caused
a general calamity, by reason of which the army
had sustained very great losses."
40. WBLLINaTON'S VIOTORIBS IN SPAIN
" For this is England's greatest son,
He that gain'd a hundred fights,
Nor ever lost an English gun."
While Napoleon was marching on his ill-fated
expedition to Russia, Wellington was wresting
Spain from the grip of France. The hardly won
victory of Talavera had not been much use, and the
English had been obliged to fall back on Portugal
in face of the huge French armies, which threatened
them on all sides. The winter of 1810 was spent
by Wellington, in securing Lisbon against the vast
armies of Napoleon.
To the north of the capital, run two rugged lines
of mountains stretching from the coast, washed by
the Atlantic Ocean, to the mouth of the river
Tagus. No less than 7000 Portuguese peasants
were set to work, to build forts and construct
earthworks, to turn these mountains into natural
defences for Lisbon. Bristling with guns, these
196 FRENCH AND ENGLISH AT BTOACO. [I8IO.
famous Lines of Torres Vedras, as they are called,
formed a formidable barrier. The. summer of
1810 found Marshal Massena, of Wagram fame,
in command of the French army destined by
Napoleon for the conquest of Portugal. In the
ranks were 70,000 hero veterans of Marengo and
" We will drive the English into the sea," they
said with confidence, as they took fort after fort on
their triumphant march.
Wellington awaited them on the heights of
Busaco, thus barring the road to Lisbon.
" There are certainly many bad roads in Portugal,
but the enemy has taken decidedly the worst," said
From their high perch, the English could see
Massena's great host marching onwards, their bay-
onets gleaming, their helmets sparkling in the
valley below. It was still cold grey dawn on the
morning of September 29, when the splendid French
troops swept bravely up the steep face of the hill of
Busaco. The English grimly awaited them at the
top. Neither side was wanting in courage. But
it was only a few minutes, before the unhappy
heroes of Austerlitz were rolling down the steep
face of Busaco, the slopes of which were soon thick
with dead and dying.
Massena now heard for the first time of the Lines
of Torres Vedras, that tremendous barrier, which
made it impossible for him to reach Lisbon. He
1812.] CIUDAi> RODRIGO AND BADAJOZ. 197
had been warned of Wellington's work, but not of
the existence of the hills.
" Yes, yes," he said angrily, as the truth dawned
on him, "Wellington built the works, but he did not
make the mountains."
For six weeks he camped hopelessly before the
Lines, his army wasting with disease and starvation.
Not till 30,000 soldiers had perished did he retreat,
leaving Wellington triumphant behind his lines.
The bitter winter passed ; spring gave way to
summer, summer to autumn, and still the conflict in
Portugal raged on. It was not till the winter of
1812, that Wellington was able to turn his attention
to Spain. His way was barred by the two great
frontier fortresses of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz,
to the north and south of the river Tagus. Secretly
and hastily, Wellington laid his plans to besiege the
most northerly of these, Ciudad Rodrigo. It was
strongly defended by the French, but the English
smote it with strokes so furious and with such
" breathless speed " that it fell in twelve days. It
was midwinter; the rivers were edged with ice,
snow lay on the ground, bitter blasts blew over
the ramparts, the nights were black dark, but
Wellington was undaunted.
The siege began on January 8. It ended on the
19th with a tremendous assault. Up the black face
of the grim fortress swarmed the English in the
dark night. •• Racing over broken stones, scrambling
over huge rocks, upwards they rushed till the sum-
198 STORMING OF BADAJOZ. [l812.
mit was gained and the French garrison driven
" It was the rush of the English stormers up the
breaches of Ciudad Rodrigo, that began the fall of
the French Empire."
Leaving a Spanish garrison in possession of the
fortress, Wellington now with "heroic madness"
pushed on for the next attack. Badajoz stood on a
rocky ridge of extraordinary strength. Twice the
English had already tried to take it : twice they
had failed. But Wellington was "strong in his
own warlike genius, and in the quality of the troops
On the stormy night of March 17 the siege began.
On April 6 an assault was ordered. At 10 o'clock
on that still dark night the English troops stood
firm and ready for the attack. No less than five
assaults were to be made at different points : each
was equally heroic in its mad rush to the top under
fire. But hour after hour of that terrible night
passed away, and stiU the stormers had not taken
" Why do you not come into Badajoz," cried the
French from the top, to the English below, who
gazed upwards at the grim height bristling with
French guns, unable to advance, refusing to retreat.
Wellington watched, his face grey with anxiety, for
the cost in human life was tremendous. It was not
till daylight, that the men gained the heights, and
the French commander, who had been badly
1812.] BATTLE OF SALAMANCA. 199
wounded, surrendered. In that wild night -fight
Wellington had lost heavily ; and as he gazed on
the slope, strewn with the dead bodies of his
soldiers, he burst into tears.
41. SPAIN FOR THE SPANIARDS.
" Not stirring words, nor gallant deeds alone, —
Plain patient work fulfilled that length of life ;
Duty, not glory — service, not a throne.
Inspired his effort, set for him the strife."
— Clough (Wellington).
Much had been done by Wellington, in the capture
of these two strongholds, but much yet remained to
do. Spain must be wrested from the grip of the
French, and he must fiilfil his commands.
While Najx)leon and his Grand Army were start-
ing on their fatal march to Moscow, Wellington
was already advancing into Spain. On July 22 he
met the French army at Salamanca, a very old hill-
city, famous in the days of Hannibal ^ 222 years B.c.
This battle has been summed up by a Frenchman
as the " battle in which 40,000 men were beaten in
forty minutes." Wellington himself considered it
one of his greatest victories. Let us watch him
during the day of battle. Shortly after mid-day he
entered a farmyard, where food was prepared for
him. Stumping about and munching his food,
^ See Book I. chapter 46.
200 WELLiNGTON's VICTORY. [l812.-
Wellington was constantly looking at the French
army, where important movements were taking
place. Suddenly mounting in haste, he galloped to
a spot of observation. Closing his spy-glass with
a snap, he said to the Spaniard at his side, "My
dear Alava, the French are lost."
The French Marshal had made a serious blunder.
Wellington saw his chance had come.
" Ned," he cried to his brother-in-law in command
of some troops, " d'ye see those fellows on the hill ?
At them, and drive them to the devil." Then to
his nephew, afterwards the famous Lord Raglan, he
said, " Watch the French through your glass : I am
going to take a rest. When they reach that copse
near the gap in the hills, wake me."
He lay down in his cloak on the heath, among the
sweet gum-cistus flowers, and was soon fast asleep.
Between three and four, they wakened him as he
had ordered. Before it was dusk, the French army
was defeated. Through the moonlight Wellington
pressed after the flying foe. The victory was com-
plete : the way to Madrid was clear. Just a month
before Napoleon entered Moscow, Wellington entered
Madrid. The Spaniards in the capital threw them-
selves weeping at his feet, hailing him as their
deliverer from the French.
But Spain was not yet delivered from the French.
Large armies and tried generals from France still
threatened the English, and Wellington had to
leave Madrid. England was complaining bitterly
1813.] BATTLE OF VITTORIA. 201
of her general. For five years he had been fighting,
and it seemed as if the French gripped Spain as
tightly as ever. Money and precious lives had been
sacrificed. Napoleon would soon return victorious
from Russia, and all chance of saving Spain would
be at an end.
Wellington spent the winter in Portugal prepar-
ing for a final overthrow of the French. Joseph
Bonaparte was now in command, having quarrelled
with his brother's marshals.
And so, when the vines began to shoot and the
wheat was ankle deep, British drums and bugles
sounded a long farewell to Portugal, for this must
be the last campaign in the Peninsula. It is said
when Wellington, at the head of his well-trained
army, crossed the Douro into Spain, he turned
round on his horse, and, taking off his hat, cried,
" Farewell, Portugal : I shall never see you again ! "
Then on he marched, his iron will more deter-
mined than ever, on towards the Pyrenees to cut
off Joseph, who had left Madrid for the last time, in
his brief and troubled reign.
"I looked beyond the limits of Spain," said
Wellington as he marched on. "I knew the im-
pression my advance would make on Europe."
Joseph's army now filled the valley of Vittoria —
70,000 strong. He still might escape over the
Pyrenees back to France. But Wellington took
care to block the royal road to France.
At dawn on the morning of June 22, the battle of
202 SPAIN FOR THE SPANIARDS. [l813.
Vittoria began. By evening, the unfortunate King
Joseph was flying from the field, and Wellington,
standing victorious on the scene of action, was
watching the retreating French. As far as the eye
could reach, fields and hillsides were covered with
a flying multitude of soldiers and camp-followers.
The streets of Vittoria were blocked with waggons
and carriages. The rout was complete : the splendid
French army was shattered.
The spoil that fell to Wellington was enormous.
It was the result of five years' plunder in Spain.
Chests of money, baggage, gunpowder, plate,
pictures, were left behind. A general rush took
place to seize the forsaken treasure, and soon the
plain was strewn with things ; while the soldiers,
that night, marched about the camp arrayed in
turbans and plumes, carrying about French monkeys,
lap-dogs, and parrots.
When Napoleon heard of the disaster, he was
" What is going on in Spain ? " he cried. " Joseph
could have collected a hundred thousand men : they
might have beaten the whole of England."
" Tell Joseph," he added later, " his behaviour
has never ceased to bring misfortune on my army
for the last five years. It is time to make an end
of it. There was a world of folly in the whole
No wonder poor Joseph vanished from history.
He sailed away to America, where he ended his
1813.] napoleon's last HOPE. 203
days in peace. Once he was oflfered the crown of
" I have worn two crowns : I will not risk a
third," he answered pathetically.
So after five years of dogged perseverance Well-
ington stood on the summit of the Pyrenees — a
Napoleon at last had found a rival.
42. THE PALL OF THE EMPIRE.
" Farewell to the land where the gloom of my glory-
Arose and overshadowed the earth with her name ;
She abandons me now, but the page of her story,
The brightest or blackest, is filled with my fame."
— Byron (Napoleon's Farewell).
Napoleon had returned to Paris at Christmas-time
in 1812. The following spring found him taking
the field again, for Prussia had suddenly sprung
to arms and allied herself with Russia against
Napoleon had lost his Grand Army. . The heroes
of that fatal march, slept their last sleep beneath
the winter snows of Russia, but he was undaunted
still. His veterans were dead, but he called on the
youth of the French empire. He commandeered
lads of seventeen — the last hopes of France — to
fight his battles. They were not soldiers, but
children ; enthusiastic, superbly brave, but without
the strength or endurance needed for such a
204 BATTLE OF THE NATIONS. [l813.
campaign. And it sounds almost brutal to hear
their general complaining, that they "choked his
hospitals with their sick and strewed his roads
with their dead bodies."
"I grew up in the field, and a man like me
troubles himself little about the lives of a million
of men," Napoleon had explained.
And so great was his genius, that with this young
army, he defeated the Russians and Prussians in the
two battles fought at Lutzen and Bautzen.
The defeated armies now looked to Austria for
help, and not in vain. Austria joined them,
England joined them. One by one the nations
of Europe arose, to shake off the yoke of Napoleon.
"A year ago," said the French Emperor, "all
Europe marched with us ; now it all marches
It was five months after he had received the
news of Wellington's victory at Vittoria, that
Napoleon was beaten at last by the allies at Leipzig,
in Germany. It was a terrible fight, lasting three
days, and known to history as the " Battle of the
Nations." It was almost a massacre in its loss of
life ; but it shook Napoleon's throne, and it broke
On November 9, 1813, Napoleon returned unex-
pectedly to Paris. He found the capital sullen and
gloomy at the news of fresh disaster to the Empire.
His Empress threw herself into his arms in floods
of tears. The country was crying for peace.
1814.] napoleon's farewell. 205
" Inspire my papa, O God, with the desire to
make peace, for the welfare of France and of us
all," was the nightly prayer of the baby -king
Napoleon listened and smiled. But he rejected
the terms of peace now offered by .the four allies,
and they prepared for the invasion of France
" We must march to Paris," said the famous
Prussian general, Bliicher. " Napoleon has paid his
visit to every capital in Europe, and we can do no
less than return the compliment."
Yet once again. Napoleon prepared to march
against them. On January 23, he held his last
great reception in the palace of the Tuileries.
" Gentlemen," he said to the assembled company,
" a part of France is invaded. I am about to place
myself at the head of my army, and with the help
of God and the valour of my troops I hope to drive
the enemy back beyond the frontiers.''
Then he led forward his Empress and the
little king of Rome, a flaxen-haired child of three,
dressed in the uniform of the National Guard.
" If," he added in a broken voice — " If the enemy
approaches the capital, I intrust all that I hold
dearest in the world — my wife and my son — to the
devotion of the National Guard."
Amid sobs and shouts of fidelity, he carried round
the child in his arms. Before the morning dawned
on January 25, he said good-bye to Maria Louisa
20 ff THE ALLIES ENTER PARIS. [l814.
and his little son, neither of whom he ever saw
He now placed himself at the head of his hastily
formed army, which was to oppose the great hosts
of soldiers pouring down upon him from beyond
the Rhine. A nine weeks' campaign followed.
Napoleon was as full of genius and resource as
ever, but the Powers arrayed against him were too
strong for his boy army. Slowly he was pushed
back from the Rhine to the boundaries of France.
Toward the end of March, the Allies were nearing
Paris. Still Napoleon did not despair. With a
magnificent courage, he led on his weary troops.
" If the enemy reaches Paris, the Empire is no
more," he exclaimed, as he pushed vigorously
On March 30 Maria Louisa and her little son had
fled from the doomed city. Napoleon was even
now within ten miles : he might yet be in time
to save the town. Forward — forward to Paris.
Then they told him the news. "Sire, it is too
late : Paris has capitulated."
Slowly the truth burnt into the brain of the
fallen and defeated Emperor. Paris was his no
longer. He could see the enemy's watch-fires
glowing against the northern sky ; he knew the
heights of the city were bristling with cannon
which forbade approach. His great courage gave
way at last.
Meanwhile Alexander of Russia and Frederick
1814.] NAPOLEON ABDICATES. 207
William of Prussia were riding side by side through
Paris, while the people shouted for the restoration
of Louis XVIII. as their king. Nothing was left
for the Emperor of the French save to abdicate.
" The allied Powers having proclaimed that the
Emperor Napoleon was the sole obstacle to the
re-establishment of peace in Europe, faithful to his
oaths, he declares that he renounces for himself
and his heirs, the thrones of France and Italy,
and that there is no sacrifice, not even that of
life, which he is not ready to make for the interest
of France." So ran the words whereby Napoleon
signed away his mighty empire.
" Obtain the best terms you can for France. For
myself I ask nothing," he said gloomily to the
messenger between himself and the Allies.
Yet his anguish was great when he found that
his great empire was to be exchanged for the little
island of Elba away in the Mediterranean, between
Corsica and the coast of Italy. Such a position
seemed intolerable. He sought to take his own
life, but failed.
" Fate has decreed," he exclaimed ; " I must live
and await all that Providence has in store for me.''
Preparations went forward.
" It is all like a dream," he said one day, putting
his hand wearily to his head.
On April 20 he said good-bye to the Imperial
Guard, drawn up before him. Tears fell from his
eyes, as he dismounted in their midst.
Digitized by VjOOQIC
208 NAPOLEON AT ELBA. [l814.
"All Europe," he said, "has armed against me.
France herself has deserted me. Be faithful to
the new king whom your country has chosen. Do
not lament my fate. I could have died. I shall
write with my pen of the deeds we have dpne
together. Bring hither the eagle. Beloved eagle !
may the kisses I bestow on you long resound in
the hearts of the brave. Farewell, my children;
farewell, my brave companions, — farewell!"
Then, kissing the war-stained banner of France,
he turned from them and went on his way, while
the sobs of the men, who had fought for him, fell
on his ear.
He was accompanied to Elba, his new home, by
four representatives of Russia, Prussia, Austria,
and England. Maria Louisa was safe in her father's
keeping, and now refused to follow her husband into
exile. Alone, bereft of all his friends, forsaken by
wife and child, the fallen Emperor arrived at his
"It must be confessed," he said smiling, as he
stood one day at the top of the highest hill in Elba,
— " It must be confessed, that my island is very
STEAM IN OLDEN DAYS. 209
43. STORY OP THE STBAM-BNQINB.
" Science moves, but slowly, slowly, creeping on from point to
To imagine a world without trains on the land and
steamers on the sea is, in these days, very difficult.
And yet, through the times of Nelson and Napoleon,
neither of these were available for transit. It was
not till early in the nineteenth century, that the
first steamer crossed the ocean, or the first train
steamed along its iron rails with passengers.
All through the long ages of the past, men had
been groping after the idea, that steam might be
made to move heavy weights. But how? Point
by point, step by step, they gradually discovered
the great power of steam. Men, whose names were
never written in the world's great history, struggled
after nature's secret, each adding some atom of
knowledge, to help those that came after.
Thus the express train, that to-day can cover
fifty miles an hour, and the great ocean steamer,
with its possible speed of twenty miles an hour,
were not the invention of any one man or any
An ancient Greek at Alexandria, in the olden
days, made the first steam-engine. It was only a
toy, but it showed the power of steam to turn a
BK. IV. o
Digitized by VjOOQIC
210 THE POWER OF STEAM. [I8TH CENT.
ball suspended over a boiling caldron of water.
But the years rolled on after this, and little was
done till the art of printing,^ made known to the
world, the discoveries of the men of old, and the
increased industry of Europe, demanded some better
means of transit for goods.
Throughout the seventeenth century, Italians,
Dutch, French, and English worked at this magic
power of steam. Through success and failure they
laboured on. But the eighteenth century dawned
to find, that they had not got further than erecting
clumsy engines at the mouths of mines, to raise
It would take too long to tell of the accidents,
that befell some of the new inventions. There was
the poor Frenchman Papin, who, after a hard life
and much valuable invention, made a steamship. It
was merely a boat, into which he put a pumping-
engine, which turned a water-wheel, which in its
turn moved a paddle-wheel, and so moved the boat
onwards down the river. But the boatmen on the
river feared this new mode of steaming : they
thought it would destroy their work ; and one
night they destroyed the poor little steamship,
leaving its owner and inventor to flee for his life.
There was the man who made an engine on four
iron legs, to move like a horse ; but it didn't move
like a horse at all. There was the steam-engine,
from which great things were expected, that
^ See Book IL chapter 29.
James Watt and the Steam-engine,
212 EARLY STEAMBOATS. [l807.
suddenly burst, and it was a wonder that any of
the bystanders escaped with their lives.
A great impetus was given to inventors, by the
discovery of a young Scotsman — James Watt —
towards the middle of the eighteenth century. He
had always been greatly attracted by the power
of steam, and as a little lad, had made models of
useless little steam-engines. One Sunday afternoon,
he was walking by himself in a grassy meadow near
Glasgow, thinking as usual about his engine, when
a new idea came into his head with regard to steam.
He set to work to make an engine on this new
principle, and all men acknowledged, that a great
stride had been made in the world of discovery.
Watt's engine worked with great power, and used
less coal than any before, but it made a terrible
noise, and was very far from perfection.
Meanwhile an American, named Fulton, was
working at steamships. Watt's engine supplied
a want. He ordered one to be fitted into his ship,
and launched the " Clermont" on the river at New
York in the year 1807. The boat did 150 miles in
thirty-two hours — the first voyage of any consider-
able length made by a steamer. But she terrified
those who saw her. Dry pine-wood was used for
fuel, and the flames rose high into the air, while
the noise of the machinery and paddles so fright-
ened the boatmen on the river that they threw
themselves on their knees to pray for protection
from the horrible monster, which was moving on the
1814.] EARLY STEAM-ENGINES. 213
waters, " breathing flames and smoke, defying wind
Great Britain and America were now shooting
ahead of the other nations with their inventions.
It was reserved for an Englishman, to put the first
engine on a railroad. In the y^r 1808, Trevithick
built a railroad in London, and set at work a
steam-carriage, which he called " Catch -me- who-
can." It made a journey of about twelve miles
an hour on a circular railway, but one day it was
thrown off the track by the breaking of a rail, and
never started again.
Still the idea was sound, and a few years later
George Stephenson made his first successful engine
in the north of England. He called it the
"Blucher,'* after the great Prussian general, who
had fought against Napoleon, and was going to
fight again in the course of the next year. The
Blucher was clumsy and noisy enough, but it
succeeded in drawing after it eight loaded carriages
of coal, at the rate of four miles an hour, and
worked regularly for some time.
It was yet some years later, before passengers
were willing to trust themselves behind such
engines or on board such steamers, as have been
described. The flames, the smoke, the jerky move-
ments, the rattling of machinery, were enough to
frighten the most courageous. But the new dis-
coveries were enough to put a new face on the com-
merce and industries of Great Britain. The iron-
214 CONGRESS OF VIENNA. [l814.
and coal-fields of the north were worked with
redoubled vigour ; lines were laid from the mines
to the towns and the coast, and the steam-engine
proved to be the most wonderful instrument that
human industry ever had at its command. Great
Britain had finally fichieved, what the whole world
had sought for thousands of years, and by this
achievement, she rose to be the greatest manu-
facturing country the world has yet seen.
44. THE CONGRESS OP VIENNA.
"All Europe's bound-lines, drawn afresh in blood."
Napoleon's great empire had passed away. His
fall restored peace to the troubled nations of
Europe, whose boundaries he had destroyed.
A great congress of European kings and states-
men, now met at the Austrian capital, Vienna, to
readjust these boundaries and to reinstate kings to
their rightful thrones. It was a wondrous meeting.
There was the Emperor of Austria himself, with his
thin figure and sallow face, the father of Maria
Louisa, Empress of the French in name alone ;
there was the manly form of the Tsar of Russia,
Alexander, with his wife, to whom the musician
Beethoven had been playing; there was the King
of Prussia, tall and very grave ; the white-haired
1814.] AT VIENNA. 215:
King of Denmark ; and numerous other great men,
including the Duke of Wellington.
Picnics, balls, and banquets were the order of the
day. Hundreds of royal carriages, painted in green
and silver, rolled through the streets of Vienna,
carrying the Emperor's guests from place to place.
Outside all these festive scenes sat Maria Louisa.
Her father^s guests were assembled to undo the *
work of Napoleon her husband, even now an exile
at Elba. Right away from the gay throng, she
lived at her palace, her servants still wearing the
French liveries of the court of Napoleon, her little
son still dressed in the embroidered uniform of a
French hussar, playing with his French toys.
Meanwhile the work of the Congress was pro-
gressing. Louis XVIII. had been recalled from
England — where he had lived since the death of his
brother Louis XVL— to take possession of the
throne of France. Ferdinand of Spain returned
from exile to rule over his Spanish kingdom once
more; the Pope returned to Rome; the Prince of
Orange was made King of Holland.
Suddenly, one day, the news rang through Europe
that Napoleon had escaped from Elba, and was even
novr in France. The news took eight days to reach
Vienna. The Congress met, and the great Powers
drew up a declaration. "Napoleon," they said,
'' was an enemy to Europe ; and, as a disturber of
the peace of the world, must be treated as an
216 NAPOLEON^S ESCAPE. [l815.
"Ah, Wellington," said Alexander of Eussia, ** it
is for you once more to save the world."
Ever since Napoleon had been at Elba, he had
been in communication with the French. He heard
of the unpopularity of Louis XVIII. ; he knew that
his own powers were not dead. Once more he
determined to risk everything.
He made his preparations very secretly. He had
a French ship painted in English colours at Naples,
and brought round to Elba. Then one Sunday
night, at nine o'clock, he quietly embarked with a
thousand soldiers, on board the Inconstant. On
doubling the island of Corsica, they fell in with a
French cruiser. Its captain hailed the Inconstant,
and, hearing it came from Elba, asked how the
"He is marvellously well," answered Napoleon
himself, ordering his soldiers to lie flat on deck to
That danger was passed, and the little ship sailed
on towards the coast of France.
"I shall reach Paris without firing a shot,"
prophesied Napoleon, as he stepped ashore near
It was March 1, ten months since he had em-
barked for Elba. No force opposed his landing. A
few days later, he issued the proclamation he had
" Soldiers,** it ran, " we have not been beaten. In
my exile I have heard your voice. I have arrived
1815.] NAPOLEON IN PARIS. 2l7
once more among you, despite all perils. Come and
range yourself under the banner of your old chief."
He reached Grenoble in safety. But here was a
crisis : Royalist troops barred the road. Amid a
breathless silence, Napoleon advanced alone. He
was a familiar figure, in his grey cloak and cocked
" There he is ! Fire on him ! " cried a Royalist.
Not a shot was fired.
" Soldiers," cried a well-known voice, " if there is
one among you, who wishes to kill his emperor, he
can do so. Here I am."
Then the old shout, " Long live the Emperor 1 "
burst forth on all sides as the soldiers, with tears
running down their cheeks, flocked round Napoleon,
vowing to be faithful again.
They were the soldiers of Louis XVIII. : they had
refused to fire on Napoleon. The scene decided the
fate of the expedition.
Soon Napoleon was at the head of 14,000 men,
marching on Paris. On the evening of March 20
he entered the capital. Louis XVIII. had fled to
Ghent that morning. As the well-known figure
was recognised, a great shout arose, and as Napoleon
stepped from his carriage, at the gates of the
Tuileries, he was seized by French officers and
carried up the grand staircase of the palace. It
was for the fallen emperor ** a moment of triumph,
for which it was almost worth paying the price of
Waterloo and St Helena."
218 THE HUNDRED DAYS. [l815.
For the next hundred days Napoleon ruled France
once more. He had been gladly accepted by the
French people, but rejected by Europe. With a
marvellous courage, he now determined to march
against Europe. And the four allies — Russia,
Prussia, Austria, and England — prepared to march
46. THE EVE OP WATERLOO.
" There was a sound of revelry by uighty
And Belgium's capital had gathered then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ;
But hush ! hark ! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell ! "
Napoleon left Paris at daybreak on June 12.
"I go to measure myself with Wellington," he
said as he stepped into his carriage.
The slumbering capital was soon left behind. In
twelve hours he was at Laon. The weather was
very hot. As he neared Belgium, the country stood
thick with corn. The wheat was just flowering,
the barley was nearly ripe, the rye stood shoulder-
high in the fields.
He pushed rapidly forwards. On the 14th he
had reached his great French army, which awaited
him near Charleroi, on the frontiers of France and
Belgium. He mounted his charger. As he rode
1815.] THE MARCH TOWARD BRUSSELS. 219
along the ranks a very storm of cheers greeted his
" Not so loud, my children," he exclaimed ; " the
enemy will hear you."
If the soldiers were proud of their commander,
he had every reason to be proud of his army. It
was composed entirely of Frenchmen, inspired with
splendid fighting spirit. Before him stood heroes
of Marengo, of Austerlitz, of Wagram — all with un-
bounded confidence in his leadership.
" Soldiers," ran Napoleon's proclamation, " to-
day is the anniversary of Marengo, which decided
the fate of Europe. For every Frenchman of spirit,
the time is come to conquer or to die."
It was his last proclamation, as it was his last
For weeks past, the British and Prussian armies
had been guarding the Belgian frontier from France,
while huge hosts of Russians and Austrians were
rolling slowly across Europe, to join them in a great
invasion of France. Napoleon s plan was to march
suddenly and directly upon Brussels, win over the
Belgians to his cause, and thus plunge the Allies
in a hostile country.
The distance from Charleroi to Brussels was
about thirty- four miles. At a distance of some
thirteen miles, lay the farmhouse of Quatre-Bras,
at the crossing of four roads, as its name denotes ;
beyond it, some thirteen miles farther, was the
village of Waterloo, eight miles from Brussels.
220 WELLINGTON IN BRUSSELS. [I8I6.
On June 15 Napoleon marched into the town of
Charleroi, where he was joined by Marshal Ney.
Wellington was in Brussels at the time, the head-
quarters of the British army* The town was
crowded with English. Feasting and dancing went
on every night. Napoleon was not expected yet
awhile. The Duchess of Richmond was giving a
ball on the night of the 15th* That very afternoon
Wellington received the news of his movements.
The great army of France, under its Emperor, was
within thirty -four miles of the Belgian capital.
Wellington ordered his troops to Quatre-Bras to
hold the road to Brussels, and attended the ball to
allay the fears of the English. Despatches reached
him constantly during the evening. The situation
was more dangerous than he thought. Ofl&cer after
officer quietly left the ballroom at his command.
At last he left too.
"Napoleon has humbugged me," he said to his
host, the Duke of Richmond. "He has gained
twenty-four hours' march on me*"
" What do you intend to do ? " asked the Duke.
"I have ordered the army to Quatre-Bras, but
we shall not stop him there. I shall fight him
/lere," said Wellington, putting his thumb over the
position of Waterloo on a map, which the Duke had
Next morning, he was galloping in all haste to
Quatre-Bras. There he found all quiet, and leaving
the Prince of Orange in command, he hastened on
1816.] QUATRE-BRAS AND LIGNY. 221
to Ligny, some seven miles farther, where Bliicher
and a large army of Prussians were holding a
position on the marshy banks of the stream running
through the village of Ligny. Bliicher had already
drawn up his forces in battle array. From the
window of a mill hard by, Bliicher and Wellington
watched the preparations of the French army.
Together they arranged their plan of campaign
But as he cantered back to his own ground at
Quatre-Bras, he said to a fellow - officer, **The
Prussians will make a gallant fight, for they are
capital troops and well commanded : but they will
Wellington reached Quatre-Bras to find that the
fight was already beginning.
He had not arrived a moment too soon. With
drums beating and shouts of **Long live the
Emperor ! " two French columns emerged from a
neighbouring wood, — one moving off in the direction
of Ligny, the other, under Marshal Ney, advancing
All through that summer afternoon, the two
battles raged. Wellington and Ney fought amid
the cornfields at Quatre-Bras, Napoleon and Bliicher
in the streets of Ligny, but a few miles distant.
The day had been hot and sultry. As the after-
noon wore on, a terrible thunderstorm broke over
the scene. Crash upon crash of thunder mingled
with the booming of the guns, flashes of lightning
222 JUNE 17. [1815.
lit up the darkness that had crept over the sun,
and a deluge of rain washed the blood-stained
earth. As the thunder-clouds rolled by, gleams of
setting sun lit up the battlefields of Quatre-Bras
and Ligny. Evening found Wellington still holding
the position of the cross-roads, which Ney had
failed to secure ; it found Napoleon victorious over
Bliicher, and the Prussians in retreat towards
Wavre, to the north-east.
The morning of the 17th broke. Wellington was
riding along his outposts at Quatre-Bras by three
o'clock in the morning. It was not till nine o'clock
that he heard of Blucher s defeat and retreat.
" Old Blucher has had a good licking," he said.
" He has gone eighteen miles to his rear : we must
do the same. I suppose they'll say in England we
have been licked. Well, I can't help that."
He then gave orders for the famous retreat to
Meanwhile Napoleon, knowing nothing of Ney's
defeat at Quatre-Bras, slept late. He had driven
away the Prussian army. He had now only the
British under Wellington to destroy, and Brussels
would be his. ^
It was not till the morning had passed, that
Napoleon suddenly realised that the English were
slipping away from him. Frantic that the foe
should escape him, he drove hastily to Quatre-Bras.
There he saw Marshal Ney.
^' You have ruined France," he said angrily to him.
1815.] THE EVE OF WATERLOO. 223
But it was the moment for deeds rather than
words. He now gathered up his powerful cavahy
and dashed after Wellington. It began to rain.
Each hour . the rain grew heavier, till the roads
were ploughed up and the cornfields became
On raced the pursuers, on raced the pursued, —
galloping for their lives through the storm. The
Emperor rode at the head of his cavalry. He was
drenched to the skin, his grey overcoat was stream-
ing with wet, his hat was bent out of shape by the
storm. It was not till darkness was falling that,
on the ridge of Waterloo, Wellington stood at bay,
and the truth was borne in on Niapoleon, that his
foes had escaped him that day.
. Night fell, and still the rain poured down in
pitiless torrents. It was the eve of Waterloo.
" Waterloo did more than any other battle I know of towards
the true object of all battles — the peace of the world."
Sunday morning, the 18th of June, dawned grey
arid misty. The ground was sodden with the
night's rain. Wellington was up early. He and
Napoleon were face to face for the first time in
their lives. Each must prepare for a tremendous
conflict : each was confident of victory.
224 THE POSITION OF WATERLOO. [l815.
By six o'clock in the morning, the British troops
and their allies were astir, a ** miserable-looking
set of men, covered with mud from head to foot,"
weary with the retreat of the day before. Mounted
on his famous charger, Copenhagen, Wellington
rode along the lines, as batteries, squadrons, and
battalions took their appointed places, for the com-
ing battle. His second in command asked him
his plans for the day.
" Plans ? I have no plans," answered Wellington
impatiently, ** except to give that fellow a good
The road from Charleroi to Brussels ran across,
and over, two ridges of hills, between which lay
a naiTOw valley. On the top of the ridge, some
nine miles from Brussels, Wellington posted his
army. He had two advanced posts. One was
on the road — the farmhouse of La Haye Sainte —
under the command of the Prince of Orange and
the Dutch allies; the other was Hougoumont, a
farmhouse and castle strongly walled in, standing
in the valley. On the ridge opposite, on the other
side of the valley, the French army stood to arms.
"At last I have them — these English," said
** Sire," ventured Marshal Soult, who had fought
against Wellington in Spain, "I know these English;
they will die ere they quit the ground on which
"Bah!" was the answer, "You think that
226 THE BATTLE BEGINS. [l815.
because Wellington defeated you, that he must be
a great general. I tell you he is a bad general,
and the English are bad troops : we will make a
mouthful of them/'
On his little white Arab, Marengo, Napoleon
surveyed his troops with satisfaction, as with drums
beating, colours flying, and bands playing they took
up their position for the battle. He had intended
to attack at nine o'clock ; but he waited till the
ground should dry, and it was half-past eleven
before the first French guns rang out on the
The tremendous conflict of Waterloo had begun
in deadly earnest.
Napoleon directed his first ftttack on Hougou-
mont, which, however, was held heroically, by
British troops, throughout the whole of that long
day. Early in the afternoon, the other outpost,
La Haye Sainte, was taken by the French, and
it seemed as if Napoleon would carry all before
Riding along his lines, Wellington encouraged
" Stand fast," he urged ; " we must not be beaten.
What will they say in England ? "
The French now approached the main line of
the English, and so destructive was their fire, that
the English squares broke and a gap was left in
It was a tremendous moment. Wellington him-
1815.] THE LAST CHARGE. 227
self led forward more troops to fill the gap. He
was beset by questioning officers.
" There are no orders," he answered gravely ;
"only stand firm to the last man."
The French were gaining ground steadily, but
more troops were wanted. Marshal Ney sent
a message to the Emperor to this effect.
"More troops ! " shouted Napoleon. " Where am I
to get them ? Does he expect me to make them ? "
It is impossible to do more, than mark the leading
events of this eventful day. At half-past four
Blucher and the Prussians arrived on the field.
For fifteen long hours, the heroic leader of the
Prussians, defeated and wounded though he had
been, tramped over muddy roads to reach Water-
loo, in time to fulfil his promise to Wellington.
Napoleon saw them : still he did not despair. He
sent another tremendous charge of French cavalry
up the opposite ridge.
" Will these English never show us their backs ? "
he cried, straining his eyes through the smoke of
"I fear," said Soult, "they will be cut to pieces
It was past seven, and the battle was still un-
decided, when Napoleon prepared for his last final
attack on the ridge of Waterloo.
" You shall sup at Brussels," he said confidently
to the Imperial Guard, with whom he intrusted
this final charge.
228 ADVANCE OF THE GUARDS. [l815.
He watched their gallant ascent of the now
slippery slopes, with triumph.
But suddenly Wellington's voice rang out clear
above the storm of battle, "Up, Guards, and at
'em ! " — such are the words that have passed into
history — and from the shelter of the wayside banks
behind the ridge, uprose the English Guards, 1500
strong. Like a very wall of scarlet, they reached
the summit of the ridge and poured a withering
volley into the French. It broke the French
column, and soon the very flower of Napoleon's
army was retreating down the hillside.
The Emperor was watching through his glass.
Suddenly he turned deadly pale, and his hand fell
to his side.
"Why, they are in confusion," he cried in a
hollow voice. It was followed by a cry, almost a
sob. " The Guard gives way ! "
As the sun shot its last gleams over Waterloo,
the supreme moment arrived. Wellington recog-
nised it. Standing on the crest of the hill, his
figure outlined against the bright western sky, he
took off his cocked hat and waved it forward. It
was the signal for a general advance. For nine hours
his soldiers had patiently endured the fiery storm,
and now they rushed in magnificent order down from
the heights, in pursuit of the wildly retreating
Then Napoleon himself rushed into battle. He
formed his Guards into four squares, and placed
1815.] ''ALL IS LOST." 229
them across the line of retreat. The last stand of
the French Imperial Guard, is one of the finest
scenes in history. Like "fierce beasts of prey
hemmed in by forest hunters," these men stood
savagely at bay against their hosts of enemies. In
vain, the British called on them to surrender.
"The Guard dies, and does not surrender," was
the heroic answer. And they perished almost to a
Dusk was deepening into night, when Napoleon
turned from the battlefield. " All is lost," he cried,
as he turned his horse in the direction of Quatre-
Bras. There he stopped, and looked yearningly
toward Waterloo, while tears rolled down his pale
cheeks. He had staked and lost aU.
The victory was with the Allies ; but it had been
secured at tremendous cost. Both Wellington and
Blucher together lost over 20,000 men.
Night was advanced, when Wellington, weary
with the ten hours' fight, threw himself down to
sleep at the little inn at Waterloo, his face still
black with the dust and powder of the battle.
Early in the morning, the doctor, at his request,
brought the list of killed and wounded. He began
to read it aloud to Wellington. He read for an
hour ; then he looked up. There sat the Iron Duke,
his hands clasped together, while tears were making
long white streaks down his battle-soiled cheeks.
" Go on," he groaned ; " for God's sake go on.
It is terrible."
230 NAPOLEON ABDICATES AGAIN. [l815.
So ended the battle of Waterloo. It ended the
military careers of Wellington and Napoleon at
the early ages of forty -six ; it ended the great
Napoleonic struggle, and brought to Europe thirty
years of peace.
47. THE EXILE OP ST HELENA.
" He fought a thousand glorious wars,
And more than half the world was his ;
And somewhere now, in yonder stars,
Can tell, mayhap, what greatness is."
Napoleon arrived back in Paris at sunrise, on
the 21st of June. It was but just over a week
since he had left it, so full of hope and victory.
Nothing was left to him now, but to abdicate a
" Frenchmen," ran his proclamation, " I offer my-
self as a sacrifice to the hatred of the enemies of
France. My political life is ended, and I proclaim
my son Napoleon II., Emperor of the French."
But this was not allowed : he was ordered to
leave France at once. Wellington and Blucher
were already marching on Paris to restore Louis
XVIII. once again. On July 7 they marched into
the capital. The next day Louis arrived. Napoleon
had reigned just one hundred days. To avoid
arrest, he escaped to a seaport near La Rochelle, in-
1815.] TO ST HELENA. 231
tending to sail for America. Here he was in sore
straits, when the Allies bade him leave France
within twenty -four hours. English ships were
cruising in the Bay of Biscay. To put to sea en-
sured capture, to stay in France ensured arrest.
He surrendered to the English captain of the
Bellerophon. He wished to live in England, under
an assumed name, as a private citizen.
"I come, like Themistocles," he said, "to seat
myself at the hearth of the British people."
The Bellerophon sailed for England, and anchored
at Plymouth for orders. Meanwhile the Allies had
decided that the island of St Helena should be his
home. It was a lonely island belonging to England,
right away in the far Atlantic, midway between
the coasts of Africa and South America. The vast
waters, that rolled between France and St Helena
would prevent any repetition of the escape from
Elba, and British warships should watch the rocky
coast of the island by day and night. No more
could Napoleon upset the peace of Europe.
" I will not go to St Helena," he cried when he
learned his fate. But in vain he protested.
" Better St Helena than Russia," said one.
" Russia ! God keep me from that," he answered
On August 8, an English ship bore him away to
St Helena. For the lait time, Napoleon gazed at
the dim coast of France, till it vanished from sight,
and the great ship ploughed through the Atlantic
KAlPOLEdlJ, *rH« EXILE.
waves, carrying the lonely exile to that far-off island,
which was to be his prison and his grave.
It was October 16, when at last he stepped ashore.
A guard of sentinels kept watch over him all day.
Once in every twenty-four hoiu-s, a British officer
had to see him, to make sure he had not escaped.
fhna Pasture Pt.^f MKWW
? ? ?
From * How RngUnd Saved F.urope,'
by permisMon of Messrs Smith, Elder, & Co.
All his letters were examined. He was addressed
as General Bonaparte. The lord of so many palaces
in Europe, was now confined to two small rooms.
In the corner of one, stood his little camp-bed, with
the gi^een silk curtains, which he had used at
Marengo and Austerlitz. On his walls hung a
portrait of Maria Louisa, the wife who had shared
1821.] DEATH OF NAPOLEON. 233
his throne, but would not share his exile. A picture
of his little son Napoleon, riding on a lamb, hung
near him, and a miniature of Josephine, who not
long survived his fall.
The days passed away in monotonous gloom. He
read, he gardened, he drove out, he wrote an
account of his deeds. Usually he was calm, but
now and then he would burst forth about the past.
"It was a fine empire," he said one day. "I
ruled eighty-three millions of human beings — more
than half the population of Europe."
Six weary years slipped by.
Death came almost suddenly at the last. It was
not till a week before the end, that either he or the
doctors realised that the disease he had suffered
from for years, was now killing him.
His mind went back to years that were past.
"France," he muttered as he lay dying, "Army
— Head of the army."
A great storm raged outside. It tore up the
trees that Napoleon had planted, uprooted the
willow under which he had sat, shook the frail
tents of his sentinel soldiers; and "amid the
tumult of the raging sea and the shaking land
and the tempest -torn skies, the fierce spirit of
Napoleon passed away."
Reverently they covered him with the martial
cloak that, as a young conqueror, he had worn
at the battle of Marengo. They buried him in
the island of St Helena ; but nineteen years later
234 England's sea power. [i815,
his body was taken back to France, and Paris,
once his great capital, opened her arms to receive
back her mighty dead. He who had raised her
to such heights of glory, he who had dashed her
to such depths of disaster, now lies in her midst.
The results of Napoleon's life were great and
far-reaching. Not only had he re -moulded the
France of the Revolution, but he had laid the
foundations of new life in Italy and Germany.
Everywhere in Europe, he had broken down the
old barriers of custom and prejudice and created
a new spirit of freedom and independence.
He had set his whole heart on the conquest of
England, and in the end England had conquered
him. She emerged from the long struggle " Clad
with a great fame."
She had won the power of the sea. This was
the secret of that success, that was to see her flag
flying over a sixth part of the world in the century
to come. But another secret was hers : she was
firm in the belief of that watchword, which won
for Nelson the battle of Trafalgar, for Wellington
Waterloo ; that watchword, which must ever lead
her from strength to strength, as the years roll
onward into space — "England expects every man
to do his duty."
1. Primer of Indian History. Wheeler.
Story of India. Boulger. Empire Series.
British India. Frazer. Story of the Nations.
Life of Akbar and Aurangzeh. Rulers of India. Ed. by Sir W. W.
2. Clive. Malleson. Rulers of India.
Dupleix. Malleson. Rulers of India.
Essay on Clive. Macaulay.
3. Hise of the British Dominion in India. Ly^ll.
4. America. Doyle. Macmillan's Historical Course.
Canada. Bourinot. Story of the Nations.
Story of Canada. Kennedy. Empire Series.
Evangeline. (Poem. ) Longfellow.
5. George Washington. Washington Irving.
George Washington. Johnston. Great Commanders Series.
George Washington. Lodge. American Statesmen Series.
The Virginians. (Fiction.) Thackeray.
6. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, and the Grmoth and Division of the British
Empire. 1708-1778. Green. Heroes of the Nations.
Short History of the English People. Greene.
7. Wolfe. Bradley. English Men of Action.
The Fight with France for North America. Bradley.
Canada under British Rule. 1760-1900. Bourinot. Cambridge His-
Montcalm and Wolfe. Parkman.
9. United States of America. 1765-1865. Channing. Cambridge Historical
Short History of the United States. Justin McCarthy.
10. War of American Independence. 1775-1783. Longman's Modem History
236 teacher's appendix.
11. Captain Cook. English Meu of Action.
Cook's Voyages, Ed. M. B. Synge. (Nelson's.)
History of the Australasian Colonies to 1893. Jenks. Cambridge His-
12. Bruce and the Nile. World's Qreat Explorers.
Story of Geographical Discovery. Jacobs. (Newnes).
13. Warren Hastings. Trotter. Rulers of India Series.
Warren Hastings. Essay by Macaulay.
Burke. Morley. English Men of Letters.
Jtise of the British Dominion in India, Lyall.
British India, Frazer. Story of the Nations.
14. French Revolution, Carlyle.
French Revolution. Qardiner. Longman's Epochs of Modern History.
French Revolution. Mallet. University Extension Manual.
History of Modem Europe. In 6 vols. Dyer and Hassall. Vol. v.
A Tale of Tuio Cities. (Fiction.) Dickens.
18. Napoleon, J. H. Rose.
Napoleon : Warrior amd Rvler^ and the Military Supremacy of Revolu-
tionary France, Heroes of the Nations.
19. Nelson : Embodiment of the Sea Po%oer of Great Britain. Mahan.
Nelson and the Naval Supremacy of England, Clark Russell. Heroes of
20. Mungo Park and the Niger. The World's Great Explorers.
Mungo Park. Maclachlan. Famous Scots Series.
21. Humboldt's Travels,
22. History of Modem Europe. T>jer and Hassall. Vol. v. (1789-1815.)
Modem Europe, Fyflfe. In 1 vol. (1792-1878.)
Lives of Nelson and Napoleon, Ite above.
29. Wellington. Sir Herbert Maxwell
Wellington. Lord Roberts.
Wellington, Hooper. English Men of Action.
Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington. (Poem.) Tennyson.
30. Story of South Africa. B. Worsfold. Empire Series.
South Africa. Theal. Story of the Nations.
31. Story of Australia. Flora Shaw. Empire Series.
Admiral Arthur Phillip : the Founding of New South Wales. Builders of
History of the Australasian Colonies, Jenks. Cambridge Historical
teacher's appendix. 237
32. History of Slavery and Serfdom^ Ingram.
83. Modem Europe. Fyflfe.
Lives of Wellington, as above.
36. Austria, Story of the Nations.
38. America, Doyle. Macmillan's Historical Series.
United States of America, (1765-1865.) Channing.
SkoH History of United States. J. McCarthy.
43. Life of Watt. Smiles.
Life of Stephenson. Smiles.
Lives of the Engineers. Smiles. Vols. iv. and v. Steam-engines and
44 and onwards —
Lives of Napoleon and Wellington, as above.
Modem Europe. Fyffe.
Histtyry of Modem Europe. Dyer and Hassall. Vol. v. (1789-1815.)
Vanity Fair. (Fiction.) Thackeray.
It is intended that the outline Map of the World at the end
of the volume should be chalked, in colours, by the pupil as
the discovery or colonisation of each new region is mentioned
in the book.
PRIOT-KD BY WILLIAJI BLACKWOOD AND SONS.
THE NEW YORK PUBUC UBRARY
This book is onder no oiroamttanoes to be
taken from the Building
THE N.i.;v/ . riRK
PDB!.; ■.'„;-:.;.-.^ :
300 MB - 150 3M lao 30S 0O TS